The F-86 Sabre was produced as both a fighter-interceptor and fighter-bomber. The fighter-bomber version (F-86H) could carry up to 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs. Both the interceptor and fighter-bomber versions carried six 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M3 Browning machine guns, with electrically boosted feed in the nose.
The F-86 entered service with the United States Air Force in 1949, and became the primary air-to-air jet fighter used by the Americans in the Korean War. The Blackhawk Squadron adopted the Sabrejets almost immediately, replacing their distinctive but obsolete Grumman XF5F Skyrockets, and would rely on these fast, durable, versatile jets until August, 1950, when they upgraded to their more familiar Lockheed F-90Bs.
- Maximum speed: 670 miles per hour (1,080 km/h)
- Range: 1,525 mi, (2,454 km)
- Service ceiling: 49,600 ft at combat weight (15,100 m)
- Rate of climb: 9,000 ft/min at sea level (45.72 m/s)
- Wing loading: 49.4 lb/ft² (236.7 kg/m²)
- Thrust/weight: 0.42
- Crew: One
- Length: 37 ft 1 in (11.4 m)
- Wingspan: 37 ft 0 in (11.3 m)
- Height: 14 ft 1 in (4.5 m)
- Wing area: 313.4 sq ft (29.11 m²)
- Empty weight: 11,125 lb (5,046 kg)
- Loaded weight: 15,198 lb (6,894 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 18,152 lb (8,234 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × General Electric J47-GE-27 turbojet, 5,910 lbf (26.3 kN)
- 6 X 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M3 Browning machine guns (1,800 rounds in total)
- variety of rocket launchers; e.g.: 2 Matra rocket pods with 18 SNEB 68 mm rockets per pod
- 5,300 lb (2,400 kg) of payload (bombs plus drop-able fuel tanks) on four external hardpoints.
- The Blackhawk versions of these warplanes were equipped with extremely advanced remote-control systems, by means of which the pilots could actually bail out, and allow other Blackhawk pilots to guide their planes to a particular destination.
- They also had built-in fully-automated systems for landing themselves.
- The Blackhawks flew their Grumman XF5F Skyrockets in Military Comics #2 (Sep 1941), and then from Military Comics #15 (Jan 1943) until Modern Comics #80 (Dec 1948) and Blackhawk #22 (Dec 1948). The North American Sabrejets were first seen in Modern Comics #81 (Jan 1949), which went on sale before Blackhawk #23 (Feb 1949).
- The Blackhawks flew their Sabrejets until Modern Comics #97 (May 1950) and Blackhawk #31 (June 1950), then replaced them with Lockheed F-90Bs.