North American F-86D/L “Sabre Dog”

Our Aircraft’s History

North American F-86L “Sabre Dog” (S/N 53-0658; MSN #201-102) ~ Our Sabre Dog started off as an F-86D-55-NA before being upgraded later on. Since the F-86A was a day-only fighter, the F-86D was designed to be a day/night all-weather interceptor. Built at the North American Aviation plant in Inglewood, California and delivered to the US Air Force on January 27, 1955.  Below is a snapshot of her history:

  • January 1955 – 60th Fighter/Interceptor Squadron, Air Defense Command (ADC), Westover Air Force Base (AFB), Massachusetts 
  • August 1955 – 337th Fighter/Interceptor Squadron, ADC, Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts
  • June 1956 – 49th Fighter/Interceptor Squadron, ADC, Laurence G. Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. Converted to F-86L.
  • September 1958 – 165th Consolidated Maintenance Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard (ANG), Chatham AFB, Georgia
  • April 1961 – 158th Fighter/Interceptor Squadron, Georgia ANG, Chatham AFB, Georgia
  • August 1962 – Dropped from active inventory as surplus and transferred to museum status
  • May 1970 – Transferred to the US Military Academy, West Point, New York
  • August 1982 – Transferred to Yesterday’s Air Force Museum, Pinellas, Florida
  • June 1996 – Transferred to the Florida Military Aviation Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida

In March of 2008, she was recovered and transported to the MAPS Air Museum, where the Sabre Dog was renovated. Completed in 2011, the beautiful Sabre Dog is on display and is maintained by Crew Chief Kent Kleinknecht.

Specifications/Performance (F-86D-40-NA)

  • Role: Fighter/Interceptor
  • Manufacturer: North American 
  • First flight: December 22, 1949
  • Introduction: March 1, 1951
  • Retired: June 1, 1961
  • Produced: 1949-1953
  • Built: 2,847
  • Unit cost: $343,839 (F-86D)
  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 40 ft 3 in
  • Wingspan: 37 ft 1.5 in
  • Height: 15 ft
  • Empty weight: 13,518 lb
  • Gross weight: 19,975 lb
  • Engine: 1 x General Electric J47-GE-17B, 5,425 LBF (w/ afterburner: 7,500 lbf)
  • Max speed: 715 mph (Mach .93)
  • Combat range: 330 mi
  • Ferry range: 800 mi
  • Service ceiling: 49,750 ft

Armament, notable

  • 24 x 2.75 in Mighty Mouse FFAR rockets
  • AN/APG-36 all-weather radar

Museum display note: Our F-86L (S/N 53-0658) is painted and marked to depict an F-86D (S/N 52-4123) when she was assigned to the 496th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron in Germany.

Designed to replace: North American F-86A “Sabre” (day-only fighter)

Replaced by: North American F-86G/K/L variants