F-86 Sabre/FJ Fury (Family)

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The North American F-86 Sabre, is a transonic jet fighter aircraft. With its carrier fighter-bomber variant, the FJ-2/3 and FJ-4 Fury


F-86 Nicknames
▃ USAF  Sabre · Sabrejet · Sabre Dog · Fury
▅ JASDF  Kyokukō (旭光, Rising Sunbeam) · Gekkō (月光, Moon Light)
Netherlands  Mr. Kaasjager


Researchable vehicles Premium vehicles
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F-86F-30 ▅
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F-86F-40 JASDF▅
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CL-13 Mk.4
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FJ-4B VMF-232
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◄CL-13A Mk 5
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◄CL-13B Mk.6
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  • CL-13 is the Canadian licence manufactured / upgraded Sabre-series

FJ Fury

FJ-3 Fury

The development of a version of the FJ-2 Fury fitted with a Wright J65 (license-built Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire) turbojet engine had begun even while the FJ-2 Fury was still being developed. The J65 turbojet was not much heavier than the J47, while it produced significantly more thrust. The version that used the J65 turbojet engine was designated as the FJ-3 Fury, and in March of 1952 an order of 389 was placed by the Navy.

The prototype was a modified FJ-2 Fury fitted with the J65, and the first production FJ-3 flew on 3 July 1953. The only modification required for the J65 engine was a larger intake; otherwise the FJ-2 and FJ-3 looked extraordinarily similar. But, starting in 1955 the FJ-3 incorporated a new 6-3 wing, which had a leading edge that extended 6 inches at the wing root and 3 inches at the wingtip. The 6-3 wing increased maneuverability, but increased the landing speed slightly. The 6-3 wing was first introduced on the F-86F Sabre, but a different version was used on the FJ-3 Fury - the Fury's leading edges contained fuel tanks, increasing the fuel capacity. Starting with the 345th FJ-3, the wings had four hardpoints for the mounting of suspended armament. The inboard pylons could hold 1,000 lbs and the inboard pylons could hold 500 lbs.

The FJ-3 began to be delivered in September 1954, and the aircraft entered service in May 1955. In 1956, the FJ-3 was the first fighter aircraft to land on the new USS Forrestal. Unfortunately, the J65 engine experienced a number of failures including failure of the turbine blades and failure of the lubrication system. Despite this, the Navy was satisfied with the performance of the FJ-3 and ordered 149 more in March 1954. The F-86 Sabre, other than the F-86H modification, was known to be inferior to the FJ-3 due to the FJ-3's more powerful engine. 538 FJ-3 were built in total, and 194 of those were modified to carry AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles (AAMs). A number of FJ-3 aircraft were converted to FJ-3D drone control aircraft, which were used to control SSM-N-8 Regulus missiles and KDU-1 recoverable target drones, along with F9F-6K Cougar target drones. All Navy FJ-3 aircraft were upgraded in 1956 with probe-and-drogue in-air refueling equipment, with the probe fitted under the port-side wing.


  • XFJ-2
  • FJ-2 Fury
  • FJ-3 Fury (F-1C)
  • FJ-3M (MF-1C)
  • FJ-3D (DF-1C)
  • FJ-3D2 (DF-1D)


  • United States
    • United States Navy (USN)
    • United States Marine Corps (USMC)

FJ-4 Fury

The FJ-4 was an improvement of the earlier FJ-3 Fury. The FJ-4 had wings that were thinner - with a 6% thickness-to-chord ratio, and the wings had a greater surface area. The wings also had a slight camber behind the leading edge; this increased the maneuverability at low speeds. The landing gear were redesigned so they could retract into the new wings, and the wings could only fold the outer panels. There were four hardpoints mounted under the wings to carry external weaponry.

The FJ-4 was designed as an all-weather interceptor, and had a 50% increase in fuel capacity compared to the FJ-3. In order to reduce weight, the armor was reduced and so was the ammunition capacity. Fuel tanks were located in the wings and the fuselage was deepened in order to provide for more fuel capacity. The cockpit was modified to provide more comfort for the pilot, and the tail was also modified - making it thinner. The XFJ-4 prototypes had the Wright J65-W-4 engine that the FJ-3 used, but the FJ-4 production models used the J65-W-16A engine, which was more powerful. The XFJ-4 flew for the first time on 28 October 1954, and the FJ-4 began to be delivered in February 1955.

The original order was for 221 FJ-4 aircraft, but the last 71 were changed to the FJ-4B ground attack version. The FJ-4B had six underwing hardpoints rather than four, and the landing gear was also strengthened. More aerodynamic brakes were added to the fuselage, allowing for better dive attacks and landings. The FJ-4B could carry a nuclear bomb on the inboard port hardpoint, and it was equipped with the Low-Altitude Bombing System (LABS) for accurate delivery of nuclear weapons. 10 US Navy squadrons were equipped with the FJ-4B, and so were 3 US Marine Corps squadrons. The Navy ordered 151 additional FJ-4B aircraft in April of 1956; this brought the total amount to 152 FJ-4 and 222 FJ-4B.

Six FJ-4F test frames were ordered by the Navy to be converted from FJ-4s. The FJ-4F was a test aircraft built around the North American Rocketdyne AR-1 engine, installed in a fairing above the tail pipe of the jet engine. The engine used hydrogen peroxide and JP-4 jet fuel, which could propel the FJ-4F to Mach 1.41. Despite the order of six, only two FJ-4F were built, and the FJ-4F never entered service or production.


With the introduction of the Tri-Service aircraft designation system in 1962, the FJ-4 was redesignated as the F-1E, and the FJ-4B was redesignated as the AF-1E. The FJ-4/F-1E served in the Naval Reserves into the 1960's, with a total of over 1,115 Furies of all types were delivered to the US Navy and Marine Corps.


  • XFJ-4 - Prototype for the FJ-4 Fury, with a Wright J65-W-4 engine and redesigned fuselage; two built.
  • YFJ-4 - Developmental testing airframe; one built.
  • FJ-4 Fury (F-1E) - Production model of the XFJ-4, Wright J65-W-16A engine; 150 built.
  • FJ-4B Fury (AF-1E) - Ground attack version, with 6 underwing hardpoints; 222 built.
  • FJ-4F Fury - Converted FJ-4 airframes used for testing, with auxiliary rocket motor and fuel tank; two converted.
  • AF-1F - Proposed attack version, TF30 engine, competed against the A-7 project; none built.


  • United States
    • United States Navy (USN)
    • United States Marine Corps (USMC)

See also