F-86 Sabre Wings Explained

A Note for Modellers

In the wake of a plethora of queries regarding Sabre wing configurations, below are a number of thumbnails leading to descriptions and diagrams of the key differences. As will become apparent, the subtle differences, allied to the retrofitting of the '6-3' configuration means that a photograph is the best confirmation as to which wing is correct for your model. Good luck!

Narrow-chord wing, fitted to early-model Sabres. This wing formed the standard fit of XP-86, F-86A, F-86E and F-86D Sabres. It was also fitted as standard to Canadair Sabre Mk.1 to 4 inclusive. It was fitted on all F-86Fs up to and including Columbus-built F-86F-25 s/n 51-13340 and Inglewood-built F-86F-30 s/n 52-4505. Finally, it was fitted on all NAA and FIAT-built F-86Ks prior to s/n 56-4116.

The '6-3' wing of Korean War fame. Extended in chord by 6 inches at the root and 3 inches at the tip, the wing was fitted to F-86F-25s from s/n 51-13341 and F-30s from 52-4505. This configuration was also retrofitted in Korea to many earlier F-86F fighter models, plus a few F-86Es. The '6-3' wing was also fitted to the Canadair Sabre 5 and modified onto some Royal Air Force Sabre 4s. It was also fitted to Sabre 2s modified to F-86E(M) standard for the Greek and Turkish air forces, and to ex-RAF Sabre Mk.4s for the Italian and Yugoslav (and later Honduran) air forces.

Modified '6-3' wing fitted to some F-86Hs.

The extended-span F-86F-40 wing. Pioneered on the F-86F-40 export model, this wing, extended in span by 12 inches and featuring the '6-3' chord change was also fitted to many other Sabre variants. Firstly, it was part of the F-86L modification programme, and the better performance of the slatted, extended-span wing also led to retrofits on F-86Fs in USAF service during the late 1950s. The majority of F-86Fs passed to foreign nations via the USAF also had this wing fitted prior to delivery. Late-model and retrofitted F-86Hs also featured the 'F-40' wing, as did the last 45 FIAT-built F-86Ks (56-4116 on) for the Luftwaffe. Again, early F-86Ks were retrofitted.

Canadair Sabre 6 Wing. Featured only on the Canadair Sabre 6, this short-span '6-3' wing made up for poor low-speed handling characteristics by reintroducing slats to the leading edge.



Click here to return to the website devoted to the former Duncan's Sabre Website