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Watch Great Planes online: Episode 20 North American F-86 Sabre

The North American F-86 Sabre, like the Boeing XB-47, had been the beneficiary of German aerodynamic data on the advantages of the swept wing for high-speed jet aircraft. The result was a single-engine fighter of superb maneuverability, and one that also was an excellent gun platform. The North American F-86 Sabre was first flown on October 1, 1947, by George "Wheaties" Welch. There are those who say that the plane exceeded the sound barrier prior to October 14, 1947, the day on which Chuck Yeager did so in the Bell XS-1. There is no data to confirm this, but the fact is that the Sabre could go supersonic in a dive.

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