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F-86D and F-86L Sabre Dog

Starting with the basic airframe of its F-86A, North American Aviation incorporated two unprecedented concepts into the F-86D (initially designated the F-95). First, a highly sophisticated electronic system replaced the second crewmember carried by other interceptors of the time. Second, the F-86D became the first production single-seat fighter to which air-to-air missiles replaced the classic gun armament.

F-86D FU-945 Sabre Dog
F-86D FU-945 Sabre Dog

With its air intake reshaped to make room for the enclosed radar, the F-86D, nicknamed "Sabre Dog," presented a distinctive profile.

The first prototype (YF-86D) flew on December 22, 1949.

The F-86D was the first USAF airplane to have all-rocket armament and the first all-weather interceptor to carry only one person for operating the radar fire control system as well as piloting the airplane.

It also had the distinction of succeeding itself in setting a new world's speed record - 698.505 mph on November 19, 1952, followed by a speed of 715.697 mph on July 16, 1953.

The F-86L was an upgraded conversion of F-86D with new electronics, extended wingtips and wing leading edges, revised cockpit layout, and uprated engine. A total of 981 F-86D planes were converted to the F-86L.

North American delivered 2,506 F-86Ds before production ended in September 1953. Although the U.S. Air Force had phased out its F-86D fleet by June 1961, Japan and other nations continued flying them.

Technical Specifications of the F-86D

Engine: General Electric J47 of 7,650 lbs. thrust (with afterburner)
Maximum speed: 761 mph
Range: 800 miles
Ceiling: 50,000 ft.
Span: 37 ft. 1 in.
Length: 40 ft. 4 in.
Height: 15 ft.
Weight: 19,975 lbs. loaded

Photographs of the F-86D Sabre Dog

F-86D "Dennis the Menace", S/N 23863, Buzz Number FU-863, on display at the Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio
F-86D "Dennis the Menace", S/N 23863, Buzz Number FU-863, on display at the Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio
F-86D Sabre Dog, S/N 23653, restored in Colorado Air Guard colors,
at the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum
F-86D Sabre Dog, S/N 23653, restored in Colorado Air Guard colors
F-86L Sabre Dog at the Hill Aerospace Museum in Ogden, Utah
F-86L Sabre Dog
North American F-86L Sabre S/N 53-0965 at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, Arizona
North American F-86L Sabre S/N 53-0965
Tail section of the North American F-86L, Buzz Number FU965
Tail section of the North American F-86L, Buzz Number FU965
F-86D Sabre Dog, S/N 23651, of the Georgia Air Guard, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia
F-86D Sabre Dog, S/N 23651, of the Georgia Air Guard
F-86D S/N 30997 on display at Butte, Montana
(photo by Michael Hoschouer)
F-86D S/N 30997 on display at Butte, Montana
F-86D S/N 31022 on display at Idaho Falls, Idaho
(photo by Michael Hoschouer)
F-86D S/N 31022 on display at Idaho Falls, Idaho
F-86D of the Wyoming National Guard
(photo by Michael Hoschouer)
F-86D of the Wyoming National Guard
F-86D S/N 10133 on display at Tyndall AFB in Florida
(photo by Michael Hoschouer)
F-86D S/N 10133 on display at Tyndall AFB in Florida