|This page is about the jet fighter F-86F-40 (Japan). For the premium version, see F-86F-40 JASDF (Japan). For other uses, see F-86 (Family).|
The F-86F-40 Sabre ▅ is a rank V Japanese jet fighter with a battle rating of 8.3 (AB) and 9.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance".
Considered one of the premier fighter aircraft of the day, several nations put bids in to receive surplus F-86 fighters to add to their arsenal. Japan successfully acquired this aircraft, however, due to the popularity of the aircraft, supplies evaporated. Though North American restarted production of the aircraft, Japan successfully lobbied to acquire the licensing rights to have Mitsubishi Manufacturing begin production of the aircraft, allowing Japan to increase its air force's offensive and defensive capabilities sooner than expected.
Though not one of the fastest aircraft during this time period, it can be one of the most manoeuvrable when considering throttle control, air-brakes and the wing slats. The manoeuvrability of this aircraft is definitely a plus when flying against other fighters which could be considered more of a manned-missile with lots of speed, but a horrible turning radius.
|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||< 650||N/A|
|Engine name||Number||Empty mass||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|General Electric J47-GE-27||1||5,490 kg||232 kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with fuel (no weapons load)|| Max Takeoff|
|Weight (each)||Type||7m fuel||20m fuel||26m fuel|
|1,150 kg||Axial-flow turbojet||5,848 kg||6,490 kg||6,786 kg||9,530 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (100%)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||7m fuel||20m fuel||26m fuel||MTOW|
|Optimal|| 2,626 kgf
Survivability and armour
- 6.35 mm - Fore-cockpit steel plates
- 38 mm - Bulletproof windscreen
- 12.7 mm - Steel plate behind pilot's seat
- 20 mm - Steel plate in pilot's headrest
This aircraft is equipped at the front with two steel plates, each of which is 6.35 mm thick. The cockpit has a 38 mm bulletproof windscreen that protects the pilot's torso and head. The backseat incorporates 12.7 mm of steel to protect the pilot's back while the headrest contains a 20 mm steel plate. This protection will help against smaller calibre rounds, however, cannot sustain many direct hits with 20 mm rounds or higher.
Modifications and economy
The F-86F-40 (Japan) is armed with:
- 6 x 12.7 mm M3 Browning machine guns, nose-mounted (300 rpg = 1,800 total)
The F86F-40 JASDF were U.S. airframes assembled by Mitsubishi in Japan, and they offered the same offensive armament of many of it's Saber brethren, namely the 6 x M3 Browning 12.7 mm/.50 calibre machine guns. These machine guns are similar in performance to their predecessor, the M2 Browning; however, they excelled with a significantly higher rate of fire. The total ammunition count for this aircraft is 1,800 rounds, divided up with 300 rounds per gun. Ammunition belts for this aircraft are conventional 12.7 mm belts found on U.S. aircraft, and typically the tracer belts permit for the quickest correction of aim. Other belts may be utilised as necessary and depending on play-style such as the Stealth belts; however, these should be used by skilled pilots who already understand the firing aspects of the M3 Brownings and bullet performance. One challenge with the Stealth belts is the lack of tracers, making it much harder to correct aim when solely relying on visual clues.
The F-86F-40 (Japan) 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)
- 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles
The unguided rockets outfitted on this aircraft are the familiar American HVARs, which can be used against slow-moving bombers or ground target vehicles and anti-aircraft guns. Since the HVARs are a fire-and-forget rocket, they work best against either stationary targets or against slow-moving targets which may not be able to avoid inbound rockets. Another option for suspended ordnances includes bombs, namely the 1,000 lbs AN-M65A1 bombs. Two of these bombs is all that this aircraft can safely carry, but these bombs will do considerable damage against ground units, ships and bases. While performing bombing runs, always be on the lookout for enemy fighters attempting to swoop in and eliminate the F-86F-40 which may be flying slower and lower than typical. For air-to-air combat, using the Aim-9B missiles to complement the M3 Browing machine guns makes for a deadly combination. These missiles are best used in close quarters, anywhere from 600 - 800 m which minimizes the opportunity for the enemy pilot to evade or out-fly the missiles. It is quite possible for the enemy to avoid the in-bound missile; however, this provides the attacking aircraft with the opportunity to manoeuvre in and take out the fighter with its machine guns. Hopefully, the enemy fighter has bled any energy advantage it may have had presenting itself as an ideal target for the machine guns.
Usage in battles
While the F-86F-40's acceleration and top speed are lacking compared to its contemporaries, the F-86F-40's slats allow the plane to have an outstanding manoeuvrability. That said, one must beware of their speed as pulling hard manoeuvres at high speeds can put the plane under great stress which leads to the wings falling apart. The outstanding manoeuvrability comes at the cost of speed. Pulling hard turns will bleed your air speed. Try to climb up before engaging the enemy to ensure you have enough energy to get out of a sticky situation. Hopefully, there will be a furball underneath you where you would be able to pounce on low-energy fighters with your guns or the AIM-9B. One advantage the F-86 has over the jets of other nations is the large ammo count of its 6 x .50 cals (1,800) although it would be wise to hit most of your shots. Try staying above 500 km/h as any slower and you would lose a significant amount of energy in a prolonged turn.
Pros and cons
- Outstanding manoeuvrability
- Can wield air-to-air missiles
- Good guns: the 12.7 mm MGs have lots of ammo, straight bullet trajectory, and adequate velocity
- Air-to-ground armament, such as bombs and missiles
- Excellent roll rate
- Great dive acceleration makes it a nice diver
- Good energy retention in a climb
- Stable shooting platform during high speeds
- Air brakes and flaps allow for tight manoeuvres and enemy overshoots at the cost of reduced speed
- Mediocre acceleration
- Mediocre top speed
- Weak one-second burst mass of the armament
- High speed manoeuvres can lead to wings breaking apart
- Slower turn rate than many contemporaries
Following the formal founding of the JASDF in 1954, the North American F-86F was selected as the nascent air force's day-fighter jet. Originally, the USAF expected to be able to deliver all of the JASDF's fighters from its stocks of surplus aircraft since the Sabre was slated for replacement by supersonic fighter jets, but with production of the F-86F-35-NA having been wound down in August of 1954 it was soon realised that existing stocks would be insufficient to cover the orders for the Sabre made by many of the Allied nations. Additionally, negotiations between Japan and the United States resulted in a license agreement being struck which would eventually see Mitsubishi cover production of the F-86F for the JASDF. However, as production facilities would first have to be set up for this, a first block of F-86Fs would be delivered to the JASDF.
To cover the shortfall of F-86s for export, production of the F-86 was restarted by North American. The new production block, the F-86F-40-NA, differed from the preceding production block in having a new wing. While Blocks 25 to 35 had been equipped with the slatless 6-3 wing, the Block 40 saw the airframe retain the 6-3 proportioned wing, but with an introduction of the slats in order to improve low-speed handling, and the wingtips extended so the overall span was increased from 37.12 to 39.11 ft. This lowered the stall speed of the F-86F-40-NA from 144 to 124 mph, and decreased the take-off run by 800 ft. Despite these modifications adding 250 lb to the F-86F-40-NA's weight when compared with the earlier F-86F-35-NA, overall performance remained the same.
Production of a first block of 'export' F-86F-40-NA's was approved on June 27th 1955, with a block of 215 aircraft being ordered for delivery to the Japanese and Spanish Air Forces. As these aircraft were purchased with MDAP funds, they were assigned USAF serial numbers 55-3816 to -4030. In 1956 an additional 65 aircraft were added to the order, with some aircraft intended for delivery to Pakistan: these aircraft received USAF serial numbers 55-4983 to 5047.
Of these 280 aircraft, 150 were slated for delivery to Japan. In Japanese service, this first block of aircraft was assigned the serial numbers 62-7431 to -7580, with deliveries taking place between April and December of 1956. Due to a lack of pilots, the last 45 aircraft from this block - 7536 to 7580 - were directly put into storage; in 1959 they were returned to the USAF.
The next block of 70 aircraft was the first batch assembled by Mitsubishi from North American-produced knock down kits, known as the F-86F-40-MIT. As these aircraft too had been funded by the MDAP program, they were assigned USAF serials 55-5048 to -5117; in JASDF service they were renumbered as 62-7701 to -7704; and 72-7705 to -7770. The first Japanese-assembled F-86F flew on August 9th 1956; the last of this block was delivered on December 17th 1957.
The second block of Mitsubishi-built F-86Fs was once again assembled by Mitsubishi from North American-produced knock down kits; the 110 aircraft were assigned USAF serial block 56-2773 to -2882, and received JASDF serial numbers 72-7771 to -7772; 82-7773 to -7868; and 92-7869 to 7880. The first aircraft from this block was accepted into service on December 28th 1957; the last was delivered on February 14th 1959.
The third and final block of 120 Mitsubishi-built F-86Fs was assigned USAF serial block 57-6338 to -6457, and received JASDF serial numbers 92-7881 to -7940; 02-7941 to -7991; and 12-7992 to -7999; the last aircraft delivered was - oddly - given the serial number 12-7000 instead of 12-8000. The first aircraft of this last production block was handed over to the JASDF on February 28th 1959; the last aircraft delivered - and very last F-86 Sabre built - was delivered on February 24th 1961.
(Under the JASDF numbering scheme, aircraft from the 62- serial block were accepted into service in 1956; 72- in 1957, etc.)
In all, 480 F-86Fs were delivered to the JASDF: 10 USAF-surplus F-86F-25-NHs; 20 USAF-surplus F-86F-30-NAs; 150 North American-built F-86F-40-NAs (of which 45 were returned to the USAF without being used); and 300 Mitsubishi-built F-86F-40-MITs. These aircraft were used to equip 17 Squadrons of the JASDF, these being the JASDF GHQ Squadron at Iruma; 103rd, 201st and 203rd Squadrons of the 2nd Fighter Wing at Chitose; the 101st, 102nd and 105th Squadrons of the 3rd Fighter Wing at Matsushima; the 5th and 7th Squadrons of the 4th Fighter Wing at Matsushima; the 4th and 205th Squadrons of the 6th Fighter Wing at Komatsu; the 206th and 207th Squadrons of the 7th Fighter Wing at Hyakuri; the 202nd and 204th Squadrons of the 5th Fighter Wing at Nyutabaru; the 82nd Squadron at Iwakuni; and the 501th Squadron of Reconnaissance Command at Iruma, the latter unit using a mixture of F-86F fighters and RF-86F reconnaissance fighters.
From 1959 onwards, the F-86F-40s of the JASDF were modified so they could carry the Philco-Ford GAR-8 (AIM-9B) Sidewinder.
The F-86Fs of the JASDF were supplemented by the F-86D Sabre Dog in the night/all weather interceptor role from 1957 onwards; from 1964 onwards numerous of the F-86F units started converting to the Lockheed/Mitsubishi F-104J Starfighter. Even so, the Japanese F-86F was destined for a very long service life, remaining in service as a combat trainer long after they had been replaced in front-line service. The very last JASDF F-86F-40 was withdrawn from active service on March 15th 1982. As the JASDF F-86Fs had been procured under the MDAP program, the aircraft nominally remained USAF property even during their JASDF service; following their retirement many of these aircraft were returned to USAF control and 'returned' to the United States, where most were converted to unmanned QF-86F target drones.
The livery of the in-game aircraft is that of 02-7960 (USAF 57-6417), which was accepted into service on June 29th 1960, and served with the JASDF 'Blue Impulse' display team. Following its withdrawal from service in March of 1982, the aircraft was put on display at the JASDF Museum at Hamamatsu Air Base, Japan.
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-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
- Official data sheet - more details about the performance
- [dansa.minim.ne.jp] Aviation History Museum - Short history of the F-86F
- [joebaugher.com] North American F-86F-40-NA
|Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. ()|
|ST-A1 · ST-A2 · ST-A3 · Type 61|
|ST-B1 · Type 74 · Type 74 (F) · Type 74 (G)|
|Type 90 · Type 90 (B)|
|Jet Fighter||F-86F-30 ▅* · F-86F-40 ▅* · F-86F-40 JASDF▅*|
|T-2 · F-1|
|F-4EJ Phantom II*|
|Patrol Boat||Type 11|
|MHI's shipyard is positioned in Shimonoseki|
|See also||Mitsubishi Aircraft Company (1928-1945) · North American Aviation · Lockheed · McDonnell Aircraft Corporation|
|North American Aviation|
|Fighters||P-51 · P-51A · P-51C-10 · P-51D-5 · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · P-51D-30 · P-51H-5-NA · F-82E|
|PBJ-1H · PBJ-1J|
|Bombers||B-25J-1 · B-25J-20|
|Jet Fighters||FJ-4B · FJ-4B VMF-232|
|F-86A-5 · F-86F-2 · F-86F-25 · F-86F-35|
|Export / Licence||␗B-25J-30 · ▂B-25J-30|
|▄Mustang Mk IA · ␗P-51D-20 · J26 · ␗P-51K|
|␗F-86F-30 · F-86F-30 ▅ · F-86F-40 ▅ · F-86F-40 JASDF▅ · ␗F-86F-40 · ▀F-86K · ▄F-86K (Italy) · ▄F-86K (France)|
|␗F-100A · ▄F-100D|
|The North American Aviation allowed Canadair Limited to license-build the F-86 as the CL-13 for use in Canada and to export to Europe.|
|The North American Aviation allowed Fiat to license-build the F-86K for the Italian Air Force though another 120 NAA built F-86Ks were also sold to the Italians.|
|See Also||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries · Canadair Limited · Fiat Aviation|
|Japan jet aircraft|
|Reconnaissance||R2Y2 Kai V1 · R2Y2 Kai V2 · R2Y2 Kai V3|
|Fighters||F-86F-30 ▅ · F-86F-40 ▅ · F-86F-40 JASDF▅|
|F-4EJ Phantom II|