New Nose for Sabre | Aviation Week, January 2 1950


North American designers reformed the nose of the Sabre, world's fastest service aircraft, to create an all-weather fighter version designated F-86D, which recently made its first test flight at Edwards AFB, Muroc, Calif. Purchase of 122 of this version is scheduled in the USAF 1950 procurement interim program. Nose inlet duct is lowered about a foot, in order to put a nose radar installation above it. In addition to the nose changes, the fighter has a new afterburner installation for its GE J-47 turbojet powerplant which nearly doubles the powerplant's thrust for short periods. The D model fuselage is three feet longer and slightly heavier than the F-86A, uses same wings and tail surfaces. It is designed as a fast-climbing all-weather fighter for short-range high-altitude interception missions. The D model is not to be confused with the still later North American XF-93 also developed from the F-86, which has also arrived at Edwards AFB for tests, and which features flush air inlets along the cockpit and slimmer lines than the original model shows.