North American F-86A Sabre

Initial work on designs for a new day fighter for the USAAF began in 1944, but when German data on swept wing designs became available, the craft was redesigned and the first flight delayed until 1947. The first production version of the P-86A appeared in 1948, and one month later the designation was changed to the F-86 upon the formation of the USAF. F-86A production totaled 554 craft.

The F-86 Sabre was used extensively in the Korean conflict, dueling with the MiG-15. Although the MiG was the better plane, skilled American veterans of WWII achieved and impressive 10:1 kill ratio in combat against their less skilled foes. -E and -F versions of the Sabre were also used in action in the Vietnam War.

The plane burns 525 gallons of jet fuel per hour at routine usage. A full load of fuel and ammo costs $211.


Subassemblies: Light Fighter-Bomber chassis with Very Good Streamlining +3; Heavy Fighter wings with High Agility option +3; 3 retractable wheels +1.

Powertrain: 5,200-lb. thrust Turbojet with 427-gallon self-sealing standard fuel tank [Body], 4,000-kWs battery.

Occ.: 1 CS Body

Cargo: 3 Body


Armor F RL B T U

Body: 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5

Wings: 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5

Cockpit: 0/+12 0/+12 0/+12 0/+0 0/+12

Wheels: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3



6xAircraft HMG/.50 cal. Browning M2 [Body:F] (1602 rounds).*




Body: Autopilot, medium radio transmitter and receiver, IFF, navigation instruments, limited life-support, non-targeting radar, ejection seat. Wings: Two 1,000-lb. hardpoints for ordnance, two 2,600-lb. hardpoints for drop tanks.



Size: 38'x37'x15' Payload: 3.02 tons Lwt.: 6.9 tons

Volume: 272 Maint.: 23 hours Cost: $77,619

HT: 7. HPs: 15 Body, 75 each Wing, 3 each Wheel.

aSpeed: 685 aAccel: 8 aDecel: 15 aMR: 3.5 aSR: 2

Stall Speed: 99 mph. Take-Off Run: 446 yards. Landing Run: 980 yards.

Take Off Run with Catapult: 284 yards. Landing Run with Arrestor Hook: 36 yards.

gSpeed: 439 gAccel: 22 gDecel: 10 gMR: 0.5 gSR: 2

Ground Pressure: Extremely High. No Off-Road Speed.


Design Notes:

This design takes advantage of Very Good Streamlining. Given that the design was delayed almost two years to incorporate new ideas, meeting the "engineering challenge" is probably justifiable. Design aSpeed was 604 mph. A single source quoted a take-off minimum speed of 100 mph; this matches the design's Stall Speed nicely. The historical wing area was 313 sf. Design loaded weight was 15,031 lbs.; this was lowered 8% to the historical. Historical values for wing area and loaded weight were used for performance calculations. Design cost was used to calculate Maintenance Interval; actual unit price in 1950 was $178,408. The -A variant of this plane likely qualifies as a late-TL6/early-TL7 design; -D variants and above are certainly TL7.



The F-86B and -C were single prototypes changes to the fuselage that did not enter production.

The F-86D was an all-weather fighter with an improved fire-control system. 2,201 built.

The F-86E was an improved -A with power-operated controls.

The F-86F was the major production version with a modified wing; 2,247 built.

The F-86H was a specialized fighter/bomber variant capable of deploying a tactical nuclear weapon. It featured a more powerful engine. 477 built.

The F-86K was a simplified -D. 120 built.

The F-86J was the designation applied to the Canadian version, the Sabre Mk 3.

The F-86L designation was applied to 827 -D version rebuilds.

The TF-86 was a dual-control trainer version.


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic