Airplane photos: F-86 edition

Classic photos of the F-86 Sabre, all of which appear to be from the 1950s. Some have 1940s tag.

All of the following photos are courtesy of the U.S. Air Force photo website. Comments under each photo are from the USAF site. Current style is to identify where and when a photo was taken with specific mention of the photographer.  Attribution is a bit vague for these.


GUNNERY – ROCKETS AIRPLANES – NORTH AMERICAN F-86 “SABRE”. The F-86, the USAF’s first swept-wing jet fighter. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force, no further attribution.


Col. Benjamin O. Davis Jr., commander of the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, leads a three-ship F-86F Sabre formation during the Korean War in 1954. Col. Davis, a Tuskegee Airman, was one of the first African-American wing commanders. (Courtesy photo from United States Air Force; no further attribution)


Yeah, Ben Davis in flight. Cool, huh? How ’bout Chuck Yeager and Jackie Cochran on the ground?

Jackie Cochran in the cockpit of the Canadair F-86 with Chuck Yeager. (Photo courtesy Air Force Flight Test Center History Office)

Ignorant ol’ me had to look up Jackie Cochran. Wow.

She was only an air racing pilot, head of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) for two years during WWII, test pilot, and first woman to break the sound barrier. She retired as a Colonel after 28 years service.


KOREA — The F-86 Sabre, the USAF’s first swept-wing jet fighter, made its initial flight on October 1, 1947. On September 15, 1948, an F-86A set a then-world speed record of 670.9 mph. 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. (U.S. Air Force file photo) No further attribution.


F-86 Sabres with their 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing “Checkertails” are readied for combat during the Korean War at Suwon Air Base, South Korea. (Courtesy photo of U.S. Air Force; no further attribution)


F-86 airplanes on the flight line getting ready for combat. June 1951. Air Force Photo; no further attribution.


A North American Aviation Air Force F-86 Sabre jet launches 5-inch rockets equipped to carry 16 HVAR rockets externally on wings and can also carry bombs or combinations of bombs and rockets. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force, no further attribution.


The F-86E Sabre flown by Lt. Col. Albert Kelly, 51st Fighter Interceptor Group commander, during the Korean War in 1952. The F-86 was the Air Force’s first swept wing fighter. (Courtesy photo) Courtesy of U.S. Air Force; no further attribution.


Ground crews prepare an F-86 Sabre with its 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing “Checkertail” for flight during the Korean War. (Courtesy photo) Courtesy of U.S. Air Force; no further attribution.


F-86 Sabre flown by Col. Fred Ascani at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo, courtesy National Museum of the U.S. Air Force) No further attribution.


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