Canadair CL 13B F-86 Sabre F-AYSB |Mistral warbirds

  • STATUS: Airworthy
  • LOCATION: Avignon airport, France
  • OWNER: Mistral warbirds
  • ROLE: Fighter
  • BUILT: 1958
  • LENGTH: 37.54 ft (11.44 m)
  • WINGSPAN:  37.12 ft (11.31 m)
  • ENGINE: 1 × Avro Canada Orenda 14 turbojet
  • MAXIMUM SPEED: 697 mph (1,122 km/h)
  • RANGE: 1,481 mi (2,384 km, 1,287 nmi) ferry range with 2 x 200 gal drop tanks

F-AYSB is a Canadair CL 13B ‘Sabre’ Mk 6, version of the F-86E built under licence in Canada by Canadair in 655 copies. The North American F-86 Sabre was designed by the American company North American just after World War II and was the first jet fighter with arrow wings.

Its confrontation against the MiG-15 during the Korean War is a notorious episode in the history of air combat, with a remarkable supremacy of the F-86. The ratio then reported by the United States of ten wins to one loss has since been reduced to 5.8 to 1, but remains impressive nonetheless.

This latest Canadian production series is considered to be the best ever produced. It is equipped with the Avro Orenda 14 engine of 3,306 kgp, more reliable, and 50% more powerful than that of the first American F-86s. The performance of the Mk. 6 at altitude and its rate of climb exceeded those of the Mk.5 model, fitted with an Orenda 10. In addition, the reappearance of the leading edge slats on this version gives it excellent flight characteristics at low speed.

Produced in 1958 with serial number S6-1675, this fighter first served with the Luftwaffe, at Waffenschule 10, with JD + 103 and BB + 284, then with KE + 104. It was then modified for towing targets and received the code 0113.

It subsequently flew for the Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm company from 1970 to 1977 before being purchased by British collector Ormond Haydon-Balllie who stored it in Great Britain. In 1979, the American company Flight Systems Inc. repatriated and refurbished it for target towing missions, and continued to fly it until 1997.

After several changes of owner, it was acquired by the collector Richard Sugden in 2006. The latter had it completely rebuilt, demilitarised it and gave it its current livery, which corresponds to the experimental camouflage worn by some F-86s of the 461st Fighter Day Squadron when stationed in Germany in the mid-1960s.

In 2017, pilot Vlado Lenoch died in a plane crash. In his honour, a group of his friends sought to bring back to American soil his former P-51D Mustang ‘Moonbeam McSwine’.

Frédéric Akary, who had owned it for five years, accepted their offer to exchange his P-51 and the F-86. The Sabre thus joined France in 2019.

There are only 12 examples of Sabre in flight condition left in the world, and this is the only one in Europe.

Photo Gallery