Jolted by the events in Korea in the early 1950s, and the realisation that the RAF would be severely handicapped if its Meteor and Vampire fighters were ever to be called upon to tangle with the Soviet Air Force's MiG-15s, the Air Staff found itself frantically casting around for an aircraft that could be brought into service quickly in order to redress the balance.
The Supermarine Swift and Hawker Hunter were in the planning stage, but something much more immediate was called for.
The obvious contender was the American F-86 Sabre – an advanced, swept-wing fighter that was not only in production, but was also proving its efficacy in those Korean skies.
A deal was negotiated with the US authorities and with Canadair, which was manufacturing the Sabre under licence for the RCAF, and from autumn 1952 RAF Sabres began to roll off the production lines in Montreal.
This new book looks in depth at the Sabre in RAF service. It begins with the ‘Bechers Brook’ ferry flights from Canada, and describes and evaluates its flying characteristics and general performance. It also gives a rare insight into the servicing procedures required to keep the aircraft in the air.
The principal author, Charles Keil, flew Sabres on No 26 Squadron, and his detailed running text is amplified by the recollections, opinions and experiences of many others with first-hand knowledge of the aircraft, and by a huge selection of photographs, many of which have not been published hitherto.
Specifications: 210 × 297 mm, 120 pages (11 in colour), 143 photographs, 29 artworks. ISBN 978 0 946958 76 4. Price £17.95.