Click for Video – Today we take a look at the United States’ first swept-wing fighter, the North American F-86 Sabre. When America entered the Korean War, air superiority was shortly held by Air Force F-80s and F-84s. However, in 1950, novice Chinese pilots and a few experienced Russians began flying Russian-made MiG-15s in the Korean theater, where they began to outperform the UN-based aircraft that November.
In December of 1950, three squadrons of American pilots in their new F-86 Sabres rolled up their sleeves and slammed headfirst into the MiG-15s, wrangling control of the air back for the U.S. Though the MiG-15s were superior in acceleration and rate of climb, the Chinese pilots lacked combat experience, something the American had plenty of coming out of World War Two.
By the end of the war, the F-86 claimed a victory ratio of 10:1, with 792 MiGs lost versus 78 Sabres. Watch a video below as the F-86 Sabres take on MiG-15s in the skies over Korea.
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