Type: Single engine, interceptor day fighter with RCAF
Notable Facts: Served 16 years with the RCAF in Europe and Canada from 1954 to 1968; subsequently flown with the EAA Aviation Foundation – as USAF 12897 "The Huff"/FU-897; repatriated to Canada in September 2007 by Vintage Wings of Canada for restoration and display.
Manufactured: 1954 under license by Canadair Ltd; construction number 1104 (of 1815)
Serial Number: RCAF s/n 23314
Current Registration: C-GSBR, ATC Call Sign “Golden Hawk 1”
Recent Markings: RCAF Golden Hawks markings
The Fern Villeneuve Canadair Sabre 5
Jeremy Hansen, Mike Woodfield, Rob Fleck, Pierre Clément
First Flight: 1947
Total Production (All Marks): 9,500+
Wingspan: 37 feet
Engine: Orenda 14 Turbojet
Maximum Speed: 606 mph
The history of the North American F-86 Sabre (and its variants like the Canadair Sabre) is closely tied to the beginnings of the Cold War and famously with the Korean War battles with Russian MiGs. The Sabre, a swept wing, single seat air superiority fighter has long been recognized as one of the finest fighter aircraft of all time and the Sabre 5 and Sabre 6 models built by Canadair at their Montreal plant are considered the most capable of all Sabres due to their Canadian-built Orenda engines. Of the more than 9,500 Sabres constructed worldwide, more than 1,800 were built in Canada in six different variants, four of which saw operational service with the RCAF.
The Canadair Sabre saw service both in Canada and with 12 squadrons at Royal Canadian Air Force stations in Europe as part of a large NATO commitment. The most spectacular paint scheme ever to grace the already graceful lines of the Sabre was the livery of the RCAF's precision aerobatic team, the Golden Hawks. The Golden Hawks were created in 1959 to honour the 50th anniversary of powered flight in Canada and flew for five airshow seasons. The Vintage Wings of Canada Sabre continues to wear the same metallic gold paint scheme that was used to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada throughout 2009.