The F-86, the USAF's first swept-wing jet fighter, made its initial flight on
October 1, 1947. The first production model flew on May 20, 1948, and on
September 15, 1948, an F-86A set a new world speed record of 670.9 mph. Originally
designed as a high-altitude day-fighter, it was subsequently redesigned into an
all-weather interceptor (F-86D) and a fighter-bomber (F-86H).
As a day fighter, the airplane saw service in Korea in three successive series (F-86A, E, and F)
where it engaged the Russian-built MiG-15. By the end of hostilities, it had shot down 792 MiGs
at a loss of only 76 Sabres, a victory ratio of 10 to 1.
More than 5,500 Sabre day-fighters were built in the U.S. and Canada. The airplane was also used
by the air forces of 20 other nations, including West Germany, Japan, Spain, Britain, and
The F-86A on display was flown to the USAF Museum in 1961. It is marked as the 4th Fighter Group F-86A
flown by Lt. Col. Bruce Hinton on Dec. 17, 1950 when he became the first pilot to shoot down a MiG.
(The ol'Kunnel was 19 years of age on that date; and, considered this an adequate birthday gift.)
Span: 37 ft. 1 in.
Length: 37 ft. 6 in.
Height: 14 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 13,791 lbs. loaded
Armament: six .50-cal. machine guns and eight 5 in. rockets or 2,000 lbs. of bombs
Engine: General Electric J47 of 5,200 lbs. thrust
Maximum speed: 685 mph.
Cruising speed: 540 mph.
Range: 1,200 miles
Service Ceiling: 49,000 ft.
My father-in-law, Col. Hugh Schmitt (ret.), was the last to fly a Sabre for the U.S.A.F. Literally, flew the last one to be decommissioned, on it's last flight. They made a cast of her pedal and stick, and when she was melted, they made him bookends out of some of the aluminum. I've tried to find anything in print about the last flight; however, I've come up empty. Does anyone know where I might find info on this subject?
--Please contact the Ol'Kunnel if you can help.
January 3rd 2004
What is your name?
How did you find this Web Site?
looking for old F-86 sabre jet aircraft
Where are you from?
Do you have any comments?
Looking for locations of F-86s used in Korean War 1950-1953
During the Korean War, the soviet-built MiG-15 posed a serious threat, but the US Air Force countered with its own swept-wing jet fighter, the F-86, shown here. The Sabres arrived in Korea in December 1950, (the same month and year the Old Kunnel joined the Air Force) about six months into the war. Their first pilots in Korea were World War II veterans, many of them aces. This F-86 on display at the USAF Museum bears markings identical to the Sabre flown by Lt. Col. Bruce H. Hilton, who shot down a MiG-15 on December 17, 1950. (December 17, 1903 will be remembered as the birth date of powered flight. December 17, 1931 is often remembered as the birth date of the Old Kunnel. Colonel Hinton and the Old Kunnel had a nice birthday present in 1950. (grin) It was the first MiG kill for the F-86. By the end of the Korean War, the Sabre had racked up a 10-to-one kill ratio.
--AIR FORCE Magazine/November 2002 with asides by the Old Kunnel himself.
The banner behind the Sabre displayed above reminds the Ol'Kunnel of the following Oscar Brandt lyrics. The playable background music applies to these lyrics...
Background Music is "The Walbash Cannonball."
"Itazuke Tower, this is Air Force 801,
I'm turning on the downwind leg, my prop has overrun;
My coolant's over heated, the gauge says 1-2-1,
You'd better get the crash crew out and get them on the run."
"Listen, Air Force 801, this is Itazuke Tower,
I cannot call the crash crew out, this is their coffee hour!
You're not cleared in the pattern, now that is plain to see,
So take it once around again, you're not a VIP."
"Itazuke Tower, this is Air Force 801,
I'm turning on my final, I'm running on one lung,
I'm gonna land this Mustang no matter what you say,
I'm gonna get my charts squared up before that Judgment Day."
"Now listen Air Force 801, this is Itazuke Tower,
We'd like to let you in right now, but we haven't got the power,
We'll send a note through channels and wait for the reply,
Until we get permission back, just chase around the sky."
"Itazuke Tower, this is Air force 801,
I'm up in Pilot's Heaven and my flying days are done;
I'm sorry that I blew up, I couldn't make the grade,
I guess I should have waited till the landing was okayed."