The F-86H was the last of the non-radar equipped, day-fighter Sabres and was intended for use as a fighter-bomber capable of dropping nuclear weapons. Numerous changes were made to the basic F-86 design to create the H model including; an enlarged fuselage to accommodate a bigger engine, a revised canopy design, and the replacement of the standard six .50 caliber machine guns with four 20mm cannons. In the end the F-86H was the best performing version of the Sabre and could fly faster, higher, and farther than any of the other variants. Unfortunately, by the time the H model was introduced other even newer designs were doing the same things even better and the F-86H only served in front line units between 1954 and 1958. It did, however continue in service with the Air National Guard into the 1970s. Ex-Air Force F-86Hs were also used as adversary aircraft by the U.S. Navy’s Top Gun school into the late 1970s.
Manufactured by North American Aviation, Columbus, Ohio and delivered to the U.S. Air Force on October 21, 1955.
474th Fighter Bomber Wing, Clovis AFB, New Mexico, 1954
October 1955 To 3595th Combat Crew Training Wing, Nellis AFB, Nevada.
February 1957 To 2596th Air Reserve Flying Center, Memphis Airport, Tennessee.
August 1957 To 2596th Air Reserve Flying Center, Dallas Airport, Texas.
October 1957 To 104th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Maryland Air National Guard, Harbor Field, Maryland.
December 1958 To 104th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Maryland Air National Guard, Glenn L. Martin Airport, Maryland.
February 1963 To 108th Tactical Fighter Group, New Jersey Air National Guard, McGuire AFB, New Jersey.
January 1965 To Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona for storage.
January 1969 Dropped from inventory as surplus.
1974 Loaned to Pima Air & Space Museum by the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
Pima Air & Space Museum