MiG versus Sabre

The F-86 Sabre

The F-86 Sabre

MiG-15 Shot down

MiG-15 Shot down

MiG Alley

MiG Alley

The Sabre was considered inferior to the MiG in terms of the distance, or range it could fly. Although in terms of performance experts generally considered the F-86 as the better aircraft. The MiG could outclimb the sabre at high altitude whereas the F-86 was faster at a lower level. The MiG could climb and turn at certain speeds, yet as pilots reported, was poor in controlling at high speeds and at high altitude. Both planes it was felt had insufficient gun for combat, the MiG's being two 23mm and one 37mm cannons-more suited to fighting slower planes, such as bombers; the Sabre's 0.5inch gun was equally ineffective against the MiG by not having a sufficient "hitting and range" for jet combat.

Both sides had interesting tactics to engage each other along what was refered to as MiG alley. The MiG's operated a "hit and run and Zoom and Sun" manoeuvre, which involved MiG fighters diving down from on high onto the slower Sabres. Their response was to form "the Jet stream" where 16 Sabres divided into four aircraft formation, each entering the flight path at 5-minute intervals and at different altitudes. As the Sabres flew at high speed the hope would be that a soon as one flight was engaged by the MiG's, the others could rapidly converge on the combat. So, although operating at a considerable initial disadvantage against the High-flying MiG's, the supporting Sabres were able to counter attack to good effect.