|This page is about the Italian jet fighter CL-13 Mk.4. For other uses, see F-86 (Family).|
The CL-13 Mk.4 is a rank VI Italian jet fighter with a battle rating of 8.0 (AB), 8.7 (RB), and 9.0 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision".
Flying very similarly to the F-86A-5 Sabre, this early CL-13 is not as formidable as its younger siblings in the German tree. The J47-GE-13 engine does not allow it to climb or accelerate as quickly as most of its opposition and the machine gun armament can be lacking against jet aircraft. Still, it turns well and retains speed decently in a straight line. Play in a cautious support role for best results.
Succeeding the CL-13 Mk.4 is the Italian F-86K, a heavily revised Sabre that trades manoeuvrability for much stronger armament and an afterburning engine producing nearly twice the thrust.
The CL-13 Mk.4 will feel immediately familiar to anyone who has flown the F-86A-5. The engine feels lacking; it does produce more thrust than the contemporary MiG-15's RD-45 engine, but considering that the Sabre weighs much more, the results are not pretty. And the MiG-15bis leaves the poor Sabre in the dust. Engine performance aside, the airframe has some perks. It has leading edge slats that allow it to turn quickly at low speeds, the sleek aerodynamics contribute to good top speed and horizontal energy retention, and the roll rate is fantastic. Hard turning should be done with caution however, as it tends to bleed energy, and at high speeds it's easy to break the wings.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 0 m - sea level)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear||Drogue chute|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 850||< 600||< 620||N/A|
|Engine name||Number||Empty mass||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|General Electric J47-GE-13||1||4,940 kg||233 kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with fuel (no weapons load)|| Max Takeoff|
|Weight (each)||Type||10m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||33m fuel|
|1,145 kg||Axial-flow turbojet||5,341 kg||5,730 kg||6,119 kg||6,236 kg||9,530 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (100%)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||10m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||33m fuel||MTOW|
|Optimal|| 2,273 kgf
Survivability and armour
- 6.35 mm steel - in front of pilot
- 38 mm bulletproof glass
- 20 mm steel - pilot's headrest
- 12.7 mm steel - pilot's seat
The plane isn't the best at survivability due to having very little armour around the cockpit, but it does have strong spots as well, such as the 38 mm bullet-proof glass which can save you from some head-ons.
Modifications and economy
The CL-13 Mk.4 is armed with:
- 6 x 12.7 mm M3 Browning machine guns, nose-mounted (300 rpg = 1,800 total)
The CL-13 Mk.4 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 16 x HVAR rockets
- 2 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 Fin M129 bombs (2,000 lb total)
Usage in battles
The CL-13 Mk.4 is held back by its poor engine performance and is not as good at energy fighting as the MiG-15, for example, but going all-in on close quarters turnfighting may not end well either. It is rather contradictory; it turns well but bleeds energy while doing so, and it accelerates poorly but holds onto speed quite well outside of wild manoeuvring or hard vertical manoeuvres.
Playing as a support fighter can mean many things, but for the most part it involves waiting for teammates to start engagements and jumping in later to pick off distracted enemies. This is not the most glamorous of playstyles, but charging into battle will usually result in being sent back to the hangar very quickly. At the start of the match, try to pick up some speed at low altitude to help the Sabre accelerate as best as it can, preferably somewhat off to the side. Once sufficient speed is attained (perhaps at around 800 kph), zoom climb up to medium altitude, level out, and start flying towards the center of the map. At this point, first contact should have been made with the enemy team and there will likely be a sizeable furball. Begin performing gentle boom-and-zoom attacks against low-energy opponents if there are not too many opponents looming above you. If an enemy gets on your six, use the excellent roll rate to dodge fire as best as possible and head towards teammates for assistance. Once your energy has been expended, try to extend away and regain altitude.
Turnfighting can often work since this Sabre is very nimble, but don't keep it up for long unless you are certain that it will secure a kill. Dumping all of your energy will make you a very easy target for enemy guns and missiles and regaining energy is difficult. Think twice before chasing enemies into vertical manoeuvres; the poor thrust-to-weight is unhelpful and the Mk.4 lacks missiles to shove up a stall-climbing target's tailpipe.
Overall, flying the Mk.4 is a tricky affair. It has some parity with other early swept wing jets and it can outmanoeuvre most of its opponents, but said opponents can include jets with afterburners and missiles. There is really not much that the Mk.4 can do against supersonic jets like the F-100A unless they are very low on energy or are foolish enough to engage in a turnfight. The Mach 2 capable English Electric Lightning in particular has nearly 5 times the climb rate and is practically untouchable. Leave these targets for your teammates, who are hopefully better equipped than you, and find other enemies to engage.
Pros and cons
- Decent speed for its rank
- Magnificent roll rate
- Can carry ground attack ordinance, better bombload than the G.91 pre-serie and G.91 R/1
- General Electric J47-GE-13 engine shared by the A-5 is the weakest of any Sabre, substandard climb and acceleration
- Weak armament
- Prone to exceeding its wing overload limit
The Canadair CL-13 Sabre was a license-produced version of the famous American F-86 Sabre jet fighter. Its introduction in 1950 gave the Royal Canadian Air Force a modern jet fighter a year after Canada joined NATO. While initial marks of the CL-13 were very similar to existing US models, later versions featured new engines and airframe modifications that improved performance. The final Mark 6 was considered to be the ultimate Sabre by many. Much like their US counterparts, CL-13s were widely exported and saw extensive use with Pakistan, Germany, Greece, and other countries. Total production amounted to 1,815 aircraft.
The CL-13 Mk.4 variant was intended to use the domestic Orenda engine manufactured by Avro Canada, boasting increased thrust over the initial American J47-GE-13 engine used by previous models. An early version of the Orenda had been successfully tested on the one-off Mk. 3 prototype, known for setting a women's speed record in 1952. Still, developmental delays in the Orenda led to the Mk.4 reverting to the J47. The end result was a very similar aircraft to the CL-13 Mk. 2, itself a virtual carbon copy of the F-86E. Like the F-86E, the Mk.4 had an "all-flying" tail, modified windshield, and an improved flight control system over the F-86A series. The improvements over the Mk. 2 were limited to cockpit equipment and systems, including the air conditioning and canopy release. It first flew in August 1952.
438 Mk.4s were produced. The majority of these did not serve with the Royal Canadian Air Force; their greatest initial user was in fact the Royal Air Force. At the time that the CL-13 entered mass production, the RAF still relied on early straight-wing jet aircraft, lagging behind the swept-wing Sabre in terms of performance. The Hawker Hunter and Supermarine Swift had not entered service yet. The RAF placed substantial orders for CL-13s as a stopgap, including 428 Mk.4s. Some saw brief service in Canadian hands before being delivered to the RAF, and others were sent directly out of the factory. The Sabres equipped 11 units stationed in both Britain and Germany. Their service was brief and uneventful, and the Hawker Hunter quickly began to replace them after it became operational in 1954. The retired Sabres were still young in terms of airframe life and ended up being sent to other countries. Amusingly, the United States, the original inventor and user of the Sabre, was also given a batch of CL-13s. They were designated F-86E(M) to differentiate them from US-produced Sabres.
Italy received 179 (180 in some sources) ex-RAF Mk.4s in 1957. As in the US, they were also designated F-86E(M). Used primarily for air defense, the Mk.4 was tested with the domestic SISPRE C-7 infrared homing air-to-air missile, the first such missile designed by Italy. The Frecce Tricolore aerobatic team was equipped with these Sabres upon their formation in 1961. In 1963, a handful of Sabres were deployed to the Belgian Congo as part of UN peacekeeping, flown by Philippine pilots. The Sabres were replaced in military service by the F-104 Starfighter starting in 1963 and in aerobatic roles by the Fiat G.91 in 1964. All were phased out by 1965. While the CL-13 did not have an exciting career with the Aeronautica Militare Italiana, it provided a fairly modern aircraft capable of competing with subsonic Eastern Bloc jets until more advanced or domestic aircraft were ready, not unlike its role with the RAF. One Italian CL-13 is preserved today in the Italian Air Force Museum at Vigne de Valle.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
- Related development
- Canadair Sabre (those Sabres manufactured with the designator "CL")
- North American F-86A/F
- North American F-86D Sabre
- North American F-100 Super Sabre
- North American FJ-4 Fury
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Dassault Super Mystère
- Grumman F-9 Cougar
- Hawker Hunter
- Lavochkin La-15
- Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
- Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
- Saab J29 Tunnan
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
- other literature.
|Fighters||CL-13A Mk 5* · CL-13 Mk.4* · CL-13B Mk.6*|
|* These aircraft were license-built from North American Aviation who developed and built the F-86 Sabre fighter.|
|Italy jet aircraft|
|Fiat||G.91 pre-serie · G.91 R/1 · G.91 R/4 · G.91 YS|
|Foreign||▄F-84F · ▄F-84G-21-RE · CL-13 Mk.4 · ▄F-86K · F-104S|
|Vampire FB 52A|