Wings & Wheels is also pleased to announce the Sabre F-86 will also be joining the Wing's of the Show on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th August. The F-86A USAF 48-178 flying is a dash 5 upgraded to dash 7 aircraft flying in markings with the distinctive recognition bands used by the USAF early in the Korean War.
The F-86 was the first operational allied swept wing jet and is also reputedly the first aeroplane to break the sound barrier in early October 1947, shortly before Captain Charles 'Chuck' Yeager's official sonic boom with the Bell X-I.
The Sabre was a development of a straight wing project which was dramatically modified to incorporate swept flying surfaces based on research findings that came out of Germany at the end of World War II. As well as the jet engine and the swept wings and tail, other innovations included a highly ergonomic cockpit with outstanding visibility and powered controls. The first Sabre production run was the' A' model, one of which scored the first swept wing victory over a MiG-15 in Korea. It can be distinguished from later F-86 variants by the slimmer tail section and V windshield. The A: model has power assisted primary controls rather than the fully powered controls of the later versions.
Most of the 10,000 F-86s built were engined with J-47 axial flow General Electric's famous engine of which over 37,000 units were made across the full range of versions. (Every B-47 had 6 of them). The world air speed record was unofficially broken by Major Richard L. Johnson flying the fourth production F-86 in front of 80,000 spectators at the Cleveland Air Races on 8th September 1948 and he went on to capture it officially at Muroc at 670 mph. Many pilots considered it the best handling fighter of its time and among these were pilots of the RAF which took delivery of 431 Canadian built Sabres in 1952-53 to plug the gap until the Hawker Hunter came into RAF service. The Sabre's effectiveness in the air is confirmed by a kill/loss ratio of over 10-1 in the air war over Korea.