Rare F-86A Sabre Back in the Air Again!

F-86A 48-0178 takes off for the first time since arriving home in the USA. (photo by David Charles Lindberg)
F-86A 48-0178 takes off for the first time since arriving home in the USA. (photo by David Charles Lindberg)
F-86A 48-0178 takes off for the first time since arriving home in the USA. (photo by David Charles Lindberg)

With great thanks to our friends at AirshowStuff.com comes news that the world has an A-model F-86 Sabre flying again. Owned and operated for many years by the Golden Apple Trust at Duxford in England, the beautiful jet fighter has moved back to the USA with a new owner earlier this year. The maintenance team at Heritage Aero in Rockford, Illinois had hoped to have her flying again before EAA Oshkosh AirVenture 2015, but there was quite a bit more work to do before she could fly again. Paul Wood made the initial two test flights earlier this week, accompanied by another pilot in a CT-133 Silver Star in the chase role.

Scott Wood sitting in the cockpit of F-86A 48-0178 as he prepares for a test flight. (photo by David Charles Lindberg)
Paul Wood sitting in the cockpit of F-86A 48-0178 as he prepares for a test flight. (photo by David Charles Lindberg)
F-86A 48-0178 takes off for the first time since arriving home in the USA accompanied by a CT-133 Silver Star. (photo by David Charles Lindberg)
F-86A 48-0178 takes off for the first time since arriving home in the USA accompanied by a CT-133 Silver Star. (photo by David Charles Lindberg)

Originally built for the nascent US Air Force as serial 48-0178, the Sabre is the oldest of its type currently flying and very likely the oldest jet flying in the world today. It is one of roughly sixteen known surviving A-model Sabres. Another F-86A, Korean War combat veteran 48-1217, is under restoration for Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Washington. The oldest surviving Sabre is 47-0605, which is now on static display at Lackland Air Force Base. Regardless, it is magnificent to see ‘178 back in the air again, and everyone at Heritage Aero should feel justly proud of their work. May she have a long and successful continuation of her flying career on the air show circuit here in the USA!

F-86A 48-0178 in Rockford, Illinois. (photo by David Charles Lindberg)
F-86A 48-0178 in Rockford, Illinois. (photo by David Charles Lindberg)

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