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Check Six – 1949: North American Aviation YF-86D Sabre First Flight

December 22, 2014

From the This Day in Aviation website

22 December 1949: North American Aviation test pilot George S. Welch (one of the heroes of Pearl Harbor) made the first flight of the YF-86D Sabre, 50-577, at Edwards AFB, California.  This took place only nine years after the first flight of North American’s prototype NA-73X Mustang, which would become the famous P-51 fighter of World War II. This was an amazing jump in technology in just a few years.

Based on the F-86A day fighter, the F-86D (originally designated YF-95) was a radar-equipped, missile-armed all-weather interceptor. During development, so many changes became necessary that the F-86D shared only about 25% of the parts of the F-86A.

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