Canadair Sabre 4

Overview

The Canadair Sabre is the Canadian built version of the North American F-86. The prototype, the XP-86, was first flown on 1 October 1947 breaking the sound barrier for the first time and proving to be an important step in the evolution of jet fighter construction. In August 1949, Canadair Ltd. was given a licence to manufacture Sabre’s in Cartierville near Montreal, and an order was put in for 100 F-86As which were given the Canadair designation CL-13.

With the new swept wing design and the powerful General Electric J47 engine, the Sabre was the ideal aircraft to battle the equally powerful MiG-15 that the Soviets were employing in the Korean War.

After receiving their first shipment in December 1952, the RAF began employing the Sabre as a part of the Allied Air Defence in Europe to counter the growing Soviet threat. Many were deployed to Western Germany where they undertook regular periods of alert to intercept any unidentified contacts within a buffer zone running down Germany’s eastern border.

During the Sabre’s nine year production at Canadair Ltd. 1,815 aircraft were produced. Although it was only in use with the RAF for three years, many other countries adopted the Sabre for their air forces and kept them in service for three decades.

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