Canadair F-86 Sabre

##MCECOPY##This Sabre is carrying the camouflage developed for all RCAF European-based operational aircraft.

DND Archives, PC-2144

Sabre 23757 was one of 390 Canadair CL-13B Sabre Mk 6 (the last version, with Avro Orenda 14 engines) that served with the RCAF. This Sabre is carrying the camouflage developed for all RCAF European-based operational aircraft. The photo was taken while the aircraft belonged to No. 1 Overseas Ferry Unit (OFU) based at St. Hubert, Quebec, which was formed in 1953 to ferry Sabres and T-33s across the North Atlantic.

Overview

Overview

The North American F‑86 Sabre was first flown on October 1, 1947, and quickly proved a highly successful design. With the formation of NATO in 1949, the Canadian government made the decision to re-equip the RCAF’s front-line fighter squadrons with modern aircraft and selected the F‑86 Sabre. Consequently, an agreement was reached between North American and Canadair Ltd. of Montréal to manufacture 100 F‑86As in Canada. After the first prototype, designated CL‑13 Sabre Mk 1, Canadair immediately began production in earnest with an improved Mk 2 model. The Mk 2 was essentially an F‑86E with an “all flying” tail plane to provide better flying characteristics, as well as a flat windscreen. The next major production model was the Mk 4—which was originally to have been powered by an Orenda-designed engine but, to retain commonality with the F‑86E, it also carried the J47‑GE‑13.

Various design improvements were incorporated throughout the aircraft and 438 Mk 4 Sabres rolled off the assembly lines. The Mk 5 Sabre was the first production model with a Canadian engine, using the Orenda 10 version and rated at 6,355‑lb thrust. The bigger Orenda engine necessitated a larger diameter opening in fuselage frames and stronger engine mounts. An important structural modification was the introduction of a fixed leading edge to replace the automatic slats on earlier versions. This change was designed to enhance the high altitude performance of the aircraft. Small wing fences were also introduced at the 70 per cent span position. These modifications were successful, but also resulted in a corresponding decrease in low-speed handling characteristics. After the construction of 370 Mk 5 aircraft, Canadair moved on to the final (and best) version, the Mk 6.

This version carried the two-stage Orenda 14 engine with a 7,275 lb thrust rating. The wing leading slats were re-introduced, while retaining portions of the Mk 5 wing configuration. The Mk 6 therefore acquired superb combat manoeuvring. With this combination of engine and aerodynamics, the Mark 6 was widely regarded as the best “dog-fighter” of its era. The Golden Hawks teams of the RCAF initially flew Mk 5 aircraft, but were soon equipped with the excellent Mk 6 aircraft.

Designation F‑86
Model number CL-13 
Marks Mk 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Role Fighter
Taken on strength 1950
Struck off strength 1970
Number 1,184
Service RCAF, Canadian Armed Forces

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium by T.F.J. Leversedge © 2007. Translated and reproduced with permission of the author.

Technical Specifications (Mk 2)

Technical Specifications (Mk 2)

 

Manufacturer North American, designed and built by Canadair
Crew / passengers One pilot in ejection seat
Powerplant General Electric J-47-GE-13 turbojet at 5,200 lb (2,360 kg) thrust
Maximum speed 590 mph (949 km/h)
Service ceiling 47,200 ft (14 386 m)
Empty weight 10,434 lb (4,737 kg)
Gross weight  14,577 lb (6,618 kg)
Span 37 ft 11½ in (11.57 m)           
Length 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m)
Height 14 ft 9 in (4.50 m)
Wing area 287.9 sq ft (26.74 m2)
Armament Six .50-cal machine guns plus provisions for tanks, bombs and rockets (unguided)
Cost Unknown

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium by T.F.J. Leversedge © 2007. Translated and reproduced with permission of the author.

Technical Specifications (Mk 5)

Technical Specifications (Mk 5)

 

Manufacturer North American, designed and built by Canadair
Crew / passengers One pilot in ejection seat
Powerplant Orenda series 10 turbojet at 6,355 lb (2,883 kg) thrust
Maximum speed 605 mph (973 km/h)
Service ceiling 50,700 ft (15,453 m)
Empty weight 10,662 lb (4,840 kg)
Gross weight  14,634 lb (6,644 kg)
Span 37 ft 11½ in (11.57 m)          
Length 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m)
Height 14 ft 9 in (4.50 m)
Wing area 302.3 sq ft (28.08 m2)
Armament Six .50-cal machine guns plus provisions for tanks, bombs and rockets (unguided)
Cost Unknown

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium by T.F.J. Leversedge © 2007. Translated and reproduced with permission of the author.

Technical Specifications (Mk 6)

Technical Specifications (Mk 6)

 

Manufacturer North American, designed and built by Canadair
Crew / passengers One pilot in ejection seat
Powerplant Orenda series 14 turbojet at 7,275 lb (3,302 kg) thrust
Maximum speed 606 mph (975 km/h)
Cruising speed 489 mph (787 km/h)
Service ceiling 54,000 ft (16,458 m)
Range 1,486 mi (2,391 km)
Empty weight 10,618 lb (4,818 kg)
Gross weight  14,613 lb (6,634 kg)
Span 37 ft 11½ in (11.57 m)    
Length 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m)
Height 14 ft 9 in (4.50 m)
Wing area 287.9 sq ft (26.74 m2)
Armament Six .50-cal machine guns plus provisions for tanks, bombs and rockets (unguided)
Cost $360,000

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium by T.F.J. Leversedge © 2007. Translated and reproduced with permission of the author.

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