F-86 Sabre in Color (Fighting Colors series 6502)
By Larry Davis
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1981 32 Pages
PDF 21 MB
The service of the Sabre and Fury spanned possibly the most exciting period in the history of US aircraft development. From the original straight-wing FJ-1, which was little more than a jet-powered Mustang, to the radar-guided, rocket-equipped F-86D interceptor, the Sabre neatly spanned jet aircraft evolution from its earliest days to the introduction of supersonic interceptors. This period may also have been the most colorful in the history of US military aviation. Still untarnished by defeat (in the air, at least, the Korean War was a clear-cut US victory), the USAF and US Navy Sabres and Furies showed off their youthful exuberance with gaudy squadron insignia. Markings were aimed at high visibility. The US wanted everyone to know that Sabres were in the air.
The basic exterior finish for the F-86 series was natural metal. The gun bay interior was painted silver. All other bay interiors were chromate yellow including the inside of the engine compartment. Landing gear wells and dive brake bays were the only other exceptions, being chromate green. The inner sides of landing gear doors and dive brakes were painted silver. The landing gear itself was natural metal, as were the interiors of the leading edge slats. Certain of the exterior panels, particularly the wing spar panels, were anodiz-ed aluminum, which had a very dull appearance. F-86As had a number of external parts formed out of fiberglas. These included the intake, wing tips, wing trailing edge fillet, vertical fin fillet, fin antenna panel and fin cap. These were often left unpainted, being a 'natural' fiberglas, off-white color. On a few F-86As these parts had a red-brown color.
The standard F-86 cockpit was all flat black including floor, walls, instrument panels and consoles. The seat was all black except for a red headrest.