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Check Six: First Flight: North American Aviation YF-86D Sabre – 50 years ago

December 22, 2019
North American Aviation YF-86D Sabre 50-577. (U.S. Air Force)

From the This Day in Aviation website

22 December 1949: North American Aviation, Inc., test pilot George S. Welch made the first flight of the YF-86D Sabre, 50-577 (c/n 164-1, at Edwards Air Force Base, in the high desert of southern California.

Based on the F-86A day fighter, the F-86D (originally designated YF-95) was a radar-equipped, rocket-armed, all-weather interceptor. Its first flight took place only nine years after the first flight of North American’s prototype NA-73X, which would become the famous P-51 Mustang fighter of World War II. This was an amazing jump in technology in just a few years.

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