Digital fine art render of a North American F-86 Sabre jet piloted by 2Lt James L Thompson in the Korean War.
Made with Bryce 7 Pro, Daz Studo, and photoshop.
F-86F-1 ‘THE HUFF” flown by 2Lt James L Thompson of the 39th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Wing in June 1953. He has achieved two kills in the past month and is looking for a third. His first kill in May 1953 was most likely a high ranking Russian pilot who flew a MiG-15 with a large dragon motif on its side, this was inspiration for Thompson’s crewchief, Sgt J W Manney, to paint the dragon on the Sabre soon afterwards."
The North American F-86 Sabre (sometimes called the Sabrejet) was a transonic jet fighter aircraft. Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as America’s first swept wing fighter which could counter the similarly winged Soviet MiG-15 in high-speed dogfights over the skies of the Korean War. Considered one of the best and most important fighter aircraft in the Korean War, the F-86 is also rated highly in comparison with fighters of other eras. Although it was developed in the late 1940s and was outdated by the end of the 1950s, the Sabre proved versatile and adaptable, and continued as a front-line fighter in numerous air forces until the last active operational examples were retired by the Bolivian Air Force in 1994.
Its success led to an extended production run of more than 7,800 aircraft between 1949 and 1956, in the United States, Japan and Italy. Variants were built in Canada and Australia. The Canadair Sabre added another 1,815 airframes, and the significantly redesigned CAC Sabre (sometimes known as the Avon Sabre or CAC CA-27), had a production run of 112. It was by far the most-produced Western jet fighter, with total production of all variants at 9,860 units
The F-86 was produced as both a fighter-interceptor and fighter-bomber. Several variants were introduced over its production life, with improvements and different armament implemented (see below). The XP-86 was fitted with a General Electric J35-C-3 jet engine that produced 4,000 lbf (18 kN) of thrust. This engine was built by GM’s Chevrolet division until production was turned over to Allison. The General Electric J47-GE-7 engine was used in the F-86A-1 producing a thrust of 5,200 lbf (23 kN) while the General Electric J73-GE-3 engine of the F-86H produced 9,250 lbf (41 kN) of thrust.22 The fighter-bomber version (F-86H) could carry up to 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs, including an external fuel-type tank that could carry napalm.23 Unguided 2.75 in (70 mm) rockets were used on some of the fighters on training missions, but 5 inch (127 mm) rockets were later carried on combat operations. The F-86 could also be fitted with a pair of external jettisonable jet fuel tanks (four on the F-86F beginning in 1953) that extended the range of the aircraft. Both the interceptor and fighter-bomber versions carried six 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M3 Browning machine guns with electrically boosted feed in the nose (later versions of the F-86H carried four 20 mm (0.79 in) cannons instead of machine guns). Firing at a rate of 1,200 rounds per minute,24 the .50 in (12.7 mm) guns were harmonized to converge at 1,000 ft (300 m) in front of the aircraft, using armor-piercing (AP) and armor-piercing incendiary (API) rounds, with one armor-piercing incendiary tracer (APIT) for every five AP or API rounds. The API rounds used during the Korean War contained magnesium, which were designed to ignite upon impact but burned poorly above 35,000 ft (11,000 m) as oxygen levels were insufficient to sustain combustion at that height. Initial planes were fitted with the Mark 18 manual-ranging computing gun sight. The last 24 F-86A-5-Nas and F-86E were equipped with the A-1CM gunsight-AN/APG-30 radar which used radar to automatically compute the range of a target. This would later prove to be a significant advantage against MiG opponents over Korea.
Maximum speed: 687 mph (1,106 km/h) at sea level at 14,212 lb (6,447 kg) combat weight
also reported 678 mph (1,091 km/h) and 599 at 35,000 feet (11,000 m) at 15,352 pounds (6,960 kg). (597 knots (1,106 km/h) at 6446 m, 1,091 and 964 km/h at 6,960 m.)
Stall speed: 124 mph (power off) (108 knots (200 km/h))
Range: 1,525 mi, (2,454)
Service ceiling: 49,600 ft at combat weight (15,100 m)
Rate of climb: 9,000 ft/min at sea level (45.72 m/s)
Wing loading: 49.4 lb/ft² (236.7 kg/m²)
Guns: 6 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns (1,602 rounds in total)
Rockets: variety of rocket launchers; e.g: 2 Matra rocket pods with 18 SNEB 68 mm rockets per pod
Bombs: 5,300 lb (2,400 kg) of payload on four external hardpoints, bombs were usually mounted on outer two pylons as the inner pairs were plumbed for 2 200 US gallons (760 L) drop tanks which gave the Sabre a more useful range. A wide variety of bombs could be carried (max standard loadout being 2 1,000 lb bombs plus two drop tanks), napalm canisters and could have included a tactical nuclear.
Length: 37 ft 1 in (11.4 m)
Wingspan: 37 ft 0 in (11.3 m)
Height: 14 ft 1 in (4.5 m)
Wing area: 313.4 sq ft (29.11 m²)
Empty weight: 11,125 lb (5,046 kg)
Loaded weight: 15,198 lb (6,894 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 18,152 lb (8,234 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × General Electric J47-GE-27 turbojet, 5,910 lbf (maximum thrust at 7.950 rpm for five min) (26.3 kN)
Fuel provisions Internal fuel load: 437 US gallons (1,650 L)), Drop tanks: 2 200 US gallons (760 L) JP-4 fuel