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Designation: F-86E

North American F-86E

North American F-86E Sabre

A picture of the North American F-86E Sabre

The F-86 is by far the best known of the first generation of American jet fighters.  Initial design work on the F-86 began in May 1945 and resulted in the first prototype which flew in August 1947.  The Sabre was the first swept wing jet fighter to enter American service, and the first to be able to exceed Mach 1 in a dive.  The Sabre made its name during the Korean War fighting against the Soviet designed MiG-15.  The F-86E is an improved version of the F-86A day-fighter.  The Sabre was used extensively around the world with twenty-five different countries eventually flying the aircraft.  Sabres were also license built in Australia, Canada, Italy, and Japan.

Service History

Manufactured by North American Aviation, Inglewood, California and delivered to the U.S. Air Force on April 23, 1951.

April 1951                   To 23rd Fighter Interceptor Wing, Preaque Isle AFB, Maine.

Wingspan 37 ft 1 in.


Length 37 ft 6 in.


Height 14 ft 8 in.


Weight 16,357 lbs (loaded)


Max. Speed 675 MPH

Maximum Speed

Service Ceiling 48,300 ft

Service Ceiling

Range 785 miles


Engines One General Electric J47-GE-13 turbojet with 5,200 pounds of thrust


Crew 1


North American

51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, Suwon Air Base, Korea, 1952


Serial Number

August 1951                To 23rd Fighter Interceptor Detachment, Dover AFB, Delaware.

August 1951                To 75th Fighter Interceptor Detachment, McGuire AFB, New Jersey.

October 1951              To 23rd Fighter Interceptor Detachment, Eglin AFB, Florida.

November 1951          To 601st Aircraft Repair Squadron, Kisarazu Air Base, Japan.

December 1951           To 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, Suwon Air Base, Korea.

August 1953                To 6408th Maintenance and Supply Group, Kisarazu Air Base, Japan.

January 1954               To 6400th Air Defense Wing, Far East Air Material Command, Tachikawa Air Base, Japan.

May 1954                    To 35th Fighter Interceptor Wing, Johnson Air Base, Japan.

August 1954                Deployed to Yokota Air Base, Japan.

January 1955               To 6408th Maintenance and Supply Group, Kisarazu Air Base, Japan.

April 1955                   To Sacramento Air Materiel Area.

September 1955          To North American Aviation for overhaul.

March 1956                 To 119th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, New Jersey Air National Guard, McGuire AFB, New Jersey.

August 1957                To 167th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, West Virginia Air National Guard, Martinsburg, West Virginia.

November 1957          To 156th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, North Carolina Air National Guard, Douglas, North Carolina.

September 1959          Dropped from inventory and placed on display at Douglas, North Carolina.

September 1989          Purchased by Bob Niemann from a government scrap sale and transported to Brackettville, Texas.

Circa 1990                  Sold to Pacific Fighters, Chino, California.

Circa 1994                  Sold to Jim Walker, Scottsdale, Arizona.  Intended for restoration to flying status.

2003                            Sold to Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona.