Aeroplane Monthly 1987-11
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R.Beamont - Testing the early American jets (3)
JIM LARSEN'S photograph shows one of a number of preserved Sabres in the USA. This example is painted in Korean War colours.
Plan view of the first North American P-86A, 47-605, later designated F-86A.
'597 on the ground.
A Sabre fires off an RP over the Nevada desert gunnery range in May 1952. Note the extended dive brakes. Normal armament of the F-86A consisted of six nose-mounted 0-5in guns.
Another view of the first Sabre, in flight. This aircraft and the second prototype powered by the Allison J35-C-3 turbojet, which produced some 3,750lb of static thrust.
The prototype North American XP-86, photographed in late 1947. It was first flown on October 1 that year. Though wind tunnel tests indicated that a speed of 585 m.p.h. could be attained at medium level, the XP-86 actually reached 613 m.p.h. This aircraft exceeded the speed of sound for the first time in the spring of 1948, the first American fighter to do so. Hydraulically boosted ailerons, giving irreversible lateral control that never lost its superb precision (at a time when other fighters were often poor in aileron response) made such speeds easily attainable.