Wednesday, November 7, 2007

F-86H "Sabre Hog" walk around

Too late for Korea, the ultimate new-build Sabre for the USAF was the F-86H, a fighter-bomber built around the more powerful GE J73 engine. The increased airflow requirements over the J47 engine used in previous Sabres demanded a wider fuselage, which was also slightly longer. Although early F-86Hs were armed with .50-caliber machine guns, most aircraft had a quartet of harder-hitting T-160 20mm cannon. These were actually too powerful, and early on in the aircraft's career firing was known to cause airframe damage before structural reinforcement was carried out.

There were four underwing hardpoints; conventional loadouts could include a pair of napalm munitions or 1,000lb iron bombs in addition to two drop tanks.

The F-86H was ordered as early as March 1951, but the extensive redesign, coupled with North American's work on other Sabre models and the nascent F-100, meant that the first H-model did not fly until March 1953, with the first production example taking to the air in September of that year. The 312th FBW at Clovis AFB, New Mexico was the first operational F-86H unit.

Replaced in front-line service by supersonic types such as the F-100, the F-86H would have a long career with the ANG,  with the 174th TFG flying the type until 1970. Even afterwards, F-86Hs were used as adversary aircraft, and later drones by the USN.

F-86H 53-1338 on display at the Beaver County Airport

F-86H 53-1338 on a pole at the Beaver County Airport, Chippewa PA.

F-86H Sabre forward fuselage

F-86H walk around rear fuselage detail photo
The F-86H's rudder was smaller than that of J47-powered Sabres.

F-86H tail detail photo
tail detail

Article on the crash of Captain Joseph McConnell, in an F-86H.

 F-86H crash site

A 1/32 scale F-86H built using the C&H Aero Miniatures conversion set.

Photo article showing the repainting of F-86H 53-1296 as an aircraft of the Delaware ANG.

F-86H Bibliography

Larry Davis Planes, Names & Dames, Vol III 1955-1975
Includes a photo of F-86H Playboy of the 104th TFS, Maryland ANG
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