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72modeler

RAAF CA-27 Sabre A94-983

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Always loved the Avon Sabre. Built this one a while back from an old Hasegawa plus Tasman conversion:

 

20180502_171834

 

I've another Tasman conversion set in the stash which will end up being an example in regular squadron service.

 

Terry

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@72modeler you might want to add an A to the title, got me thinking that the RAF operated Australian built Sabres for a minute there!

 

In a way though it's a wonder that the RAF didn't have these, perhaps just a bit too late for service delivery?

 

Some lovely builds shown above.

Edited by 71chally

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1 hour ago, 71chally said:

In a way though it's a wonder that the RAF didn't have these, perhaps just a bit too late for service delivery?

It didn't enter Australian service until 1954, and by then the RAF already had an Avon (or indeed Sapphire) Hunter, which was clearly a generation ahead and much less limited in potential.  While the F-86 was a brilliant effort when it entered service in 1949, (when the RAF was just getting used to the Meteor F.8) those five years were like dog years in aircraft design. The Hunter remained a credible combat aircraft much, much longer than any of the F-86 family so it was the right platform to move to.

Edited by Work In Progress

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@71chally Done! How the heck did I fail to notice that typo? Thanks!

 

@Work In Progress Much as it pains me to admit it, you are correct about the Sabre- but considering it came from '40's technology and research, a not too shabby weenie cooker!

 

Mike

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Oh, not shabby at all. I know it's much debated which of the XP-86 and the X-1 was actually the first supersonic aeroplane but it was clearly capable of safely exceeding Mach 1 in a controllable and non-fatal fashion, while still taking off under its own power. and in general being an actually usable aeroplane, unlike the Bell X-1 (which it might having beaten to Mach 1 anyway, though that debate will probably never die) .

 

And as such is a genuine milestone. 

Edited by Work In Progress

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1 hour ago, Work In Progress said:

Oh, not shabby at all. I know it's much debated which of the XP-86 and the X-1 was actually the first supersonic aeroplane but it was clearly capable of safely exceeding Mach 1 in a controllable and non-fatal fashion, while still taking off under its own power. and in general being an actually usable aeroplane, unlike the Bell X-1 (which it might having beaten to Mach 1 anyway, though that debate will probably never die) .

 

And as such is a genuine milestone. 

The debate should be well-and-truly knocked on the head. There is zero evidence that the XP-86 went Mach 1+ before the XS-1 and a massive amount of evidence that it did so early in 1948. 

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2 minutes ago, Sabrejet said:

The debate should be well-and-truly knocked on the head. There is zero evidence that the XP-86 went Mach 1+ before the XS-1 and a massive amount of evidence that it did so early in 1948. 

Obviously it flew supersonically in  in 1948, and every year afterwards. There are both fervent claims of supersonic XP-86 flight in 1947 and fervent arguments against, all involving people who were there at the time and ought to be in a position to know. https://www.airspacemag.com/history-of-flight/mach-1-whodunit-180958702/

 

Which is why I do not take a firm position on the matter myself, but I can't see it going away as a claim. In any case, the fact that the XP-86 was the first practical supersonic aeroplane is enough for me.

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Al Blackburn got the story of the first flight wrong, and so not only didn't it happen the way he said; it's very well recorded what did occur. And when I say, "massive amount of evidence", I mean, primary source data, not the recollections of those, some of whom were there, but many of whom were only peripherally involved.

 

And it's not obvious that the XP-86 flew supersonically in 1948. It did so very few times in fact: the #1 machine possibly just once and the #2 aircraft four times that I have so far found record of. I can find no evidence that the #3 XP-86 went supersonic at all that year.

 

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6 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

It didn't enter Australian service until 1954, and by then the RAF already had an Avon (or indeed Sapphire) Hunter, which was clearly a generation ahead and much less limited in potential.  While the F-86 was a brilliant effort when it entered service in 1949, (when the RAF was just getting used to the Meteor F.8) those five years were like dog years in aircraft design. The Hunter remained a credible combat aircraft much, much longer than any of the F-86 family so it was the right platform to move to.

 

I'd say half a generation ahead, a full generation ahead is a bit excessive when the two types are compared

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5 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

 

I'd say half a generation ahead, a full generation ahead is a bit excessive when the two types are compared

I would agree with you there.

 

When they lost the Sabres, some RAF pilots moved back to the Meteor before getting Hunters which must have been fun for them!

 

Julien

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On 2/3/2020 at 8:40 PM, Work In Progress said:

It didn't enter Australian service until 1954, and by then the RAF already had an Avon (or indeed Sapphire) Hunter, which was clearly a generation ahead and much less limited in potential.  While the F-86 was a brilliant effort when it entered service in 1949, (when the RAF was just getting used to the Meteor F.8) those five years were like dog years in aircraft design. The Hunter remained a credible combat aircraft much, much longer than any of the F-86 family so it was the right platform to move to.

I'm rather amused by the idea that the Hunter was a generation ahead of the Sabre. It was more a case of the Brits finally catching up with what the US had achieved five years earlier. In those five 'dog years' in aircraft design, after the Sabre had flown, Hawker managed to go from the P.1040, (flown in September 1947, less than month before the XP-86), via the P.1052 and P.1081 to the P.1067 in 1951.  

 

The Hunter was a good aircraft but not a generation, (or even a half generation), ahead of the Sabre. The first Hunters were hardly a roaring success. The aircraft suffered from tail flutter problems and lacked an adequate air brake. Development of an effective airbrake and rectification of other problems delayed service entry until late 1954. The F.1was never a truly operational aircraft due to its inability to fire the cannon at altitude without causing compressor surge in the Avon. Even if you intercepted the enemy within your 45 minute endurance, 80 mile radius of action, envelope, you couldn't shoot him down. Fortunately the decision had been taken to build some aircraft with Sapphire engines and this gave the RAF a sorely needed measure of operational capability. It wasn't until RR developed the surge-free Avon 115, and it was fitted to the Hunter F.4, that the RAF finally got an operational, Avon-engined, Hunter squadron in April 1955.

 

The same month, the first RAAF squadron was formed with the Avon Sabre, so both air forces got an operational Avon-engined fighter about the same time. The Avon Sabre also suffered from the same engine surge problems as the Hunter F.1, but the Aussies were able to fix it more quickly by modifying the gun ports, venting gun pressure into the intake and modifying the engine inlet guide vanes. So there was really very little difference in the time both types became operational in their respective air forces.

 

I don't buy the argument the the Hunter was 'much less limited in potential' then the Sabre. Sabres had four underwing weapons pylons and were carrying Sidewinders well before such options appeared on the Hunter. The Hunter remained in service longer than the Sabre, more due to Hawker's lack of work and excellent marketing team, rather than it being a 'creditable combat aircraft'. North American had moved on to true Supersonics with the F-100 and had their hands more than full with production of several types. They had no need to buy back old Sabres and re-sell them to third world air forces.

 

Peter M

 

 

 

Edited by Magpie22
changed there to their!!!

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Peter, I agree with most of your comment here. I personally consider the Hunter as a bit more modern in certain features than the Sabre, hence I may give it a "half generation" advantage over the original Sabre design... said that, the Sabre also followed a number of development lines that led to variants that were more advanced than the Hunter in several aspects. From this point of view we may say that it was the Sabre to have more potential, or at least that in the Sabre the potential was better exploited.

In any case the Hunter was a design that entered service much later than should have been and at a time when full supersonic types were becoming available.

Regarding the export success, while North American did not follow Hawker's business model in refurbishing Sabres, the USAF did and a large number of Sabres were refurbished and supplied to allied countries in South America and Asia and the same RAF Sabres were sent to other NATO countries after their brief service in Britain and Germany.

What is not in favour of the UK aircraft industry is the fact that when the various Hunter operators decided to introduce new fighters, the UK could not really offer anything and these countries had to go to the US, the Soviet Union or France to have fighters while the Sabre operators had plenty of choice if they wanted to buy American, from the simple F-5 to the very complicated F-4. This is of course another story that would fill many pages of discussion...

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Giorgio,

I'm afraid that I don't think in 'generations', or 'half generations'. Probably because I was too close and, to me, it was a continuous development and improvement process. 😁

One thing that the Hunter had that was a major improvement over the Sabre was its ejection seat!!

Early Sabres had a pitch control problem at high Q, (ie high speed at low level), because of the manual elevators, forcing the pilot to fly using the electric trim motor to move the tailplane for pitch control,  a rather crude method. Early Hunters also suffered from a similar problem due manual elevators and poor positioning of the tailplane. Both aircraft had their weak points and their strong points and both did the job asked by their respective operators.

Peter

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...and then the fight started! 😵

Mike

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8 hours ago, 72modeler said:

...and then the fight started! 😵

Mike

 

No fight from my side, and sure not with Peter as I agree with his views.

As an aerospace engineer I also know that judging an aircraft is much more difficult than it seems at first sight and every comparison should consider a lot of factors, some of which are intrinsic in the design of the machines while others are independent of this (like how the type was used, in which tactical and strategic situations, under what circumstances...).

 

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Indeed.  It could be added that some RAF pilots felt that it took to the Mk.6 before the Hunter was clearly superior to the Sabre.  By which time of course there were the Canadair Mk.6, and CL-27, and the fighter-bomber F-86H/FJ-3/FJ-4 to be considered, and I suspect that few pilots, certainly RAF pilots, had the chance to play with all the options.

 

But the Hunter was prettier than all the others...

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4 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

But the Hunter was prettier than all the others...

Hold it right there, you low-down bushwhacking sidewinder- them's fightin' words! 😠

Mike

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7 minutes ago, 72modeler said:

Hold it right there, you low-down bushwhacking sidewinder- them's fightin' words! 😠

 

The Sabre looks like a winged dustbuster, man.

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4 minutes ago, Procopius said:

The Sabre looks like a winged dustbuster, man.

Get a rope- that tree over there's empty, podnuhs!

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6 hours ago, Procopius said:

The Sabre looks like a winged dustbuster, man.

angry-mob-justice.gif?w=349

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To get us back on track here's some video of A94-983, then registered VH-PCM, performing at the Australian Bicentennial Air Show at RAAF Richmond in 1988:

 

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On ‎05‎/‎01‎/‎2020 at 05:53, 72modeler said:

I am truly biased where this Sabre is concerned, and I think this variant was the ultimate Sabre performer, and even though I love my 8th FBG Korean War  F-86F's, I think this is the most beautiful of them all! A shame she is grounded due to bang seat issues, but I am hoping she can be returned to the airshow circuit. I never had the pleasure to have seen and heard her fly, as many of you have, but I bet it was an experrience! Needless to say, we are LONG overdue for a state of the art Avon Sabre in my scale or 1/48!

Mike (Texan by birth, Aussie by inclination!)

 

https://aviationmuseum.com.au/raaf-ca-27-sabre/

 

 

 

At an airshow in Bendigo Victoria as a youngin in Nov 1984, the announcer let us know the Sabre (A94-983) was inbound. We all craned our necks from the stands, nada. "BOOM!!!", he went straight over the stands from behind, scared the bejesus out of everyone, pure gold! Halfway through the excellent routine the announcer said, "The Sabre won't be landing here, our runway is too short!" Moments later a second, "BOOM!!!", accompanied by a gout of black smoke from the tailpipe as the Avon died and he dead-sticked her in and ran off the end!

 

https://aviationmuseum.com.au/raaf-ca-27-sabre/

 

"In November 1984, the aircraft carried out a forced landing and over-run at Bendigo, Victoria"

 

Saw her again a few years back at Temora NSW, all safe and fully functional this time!

 

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