DCS: F-86F Sabre

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The North American F-86F Sabre was the most capable western fighter of the early- to mid-1950s. This swept wing, single engine jet was the most important western aircraft of the Korean War and often tangled with Russian-made MiG-15s over the infamous “MiG Alley”. It was a hard struggle not only for the Korean sky, but also between two excellent aircraft builders of the East and West. In addition to its primary role as an air-to-air fighter, the Sabre could also carry bombs and air-to-ground rockets to attack ground targets.

The Belsimtek simulation of the Sabre is by far the most authentic recreation of this famous warbird to date. Feel what is to fly the Sabre with a professional level flight model, an interactive cockpit, fully functional weapons, a detailed damage model and a richly detailed aircraft. Experience the strengths and weaknesses of the Sabre in combat and find out why seasoned fighter pilots often look back at the Sabre as the most enjoyable aircraft they ever flew.

As part of DCS World, fly the F-86F Sabre in a fully realized combat environment with working weapon systems and capable air and ground threats.

Release: 04/01/2016


The F-86, produced by the North American Aviation, is undoubtedly one of the most famous aircraft of the second half of the 20th century. It is not only famous for its outstanding performance, but also its wide use in various armed conflicts. The successful use of the aircraft during the Korean War, where the Sabre got nicknamed the MiG Killer, made the aircraft a commercial success. The F-86 was supplied to more than 30 countries and was in operational service up to the early 1970's. The F-86 won more than 900 victories in dogfights. No other jet-propelled aircraft has ever achieved that. In addition to its role as an air-to-air fighter, the Sabre was also used as a strike aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft, target aircraft, as well as a platform for testing systems and weapons. Its modifications are as follows: XF-86, YF-86A, F-86A, DF-86A, RF-86A, F-86B, F-86C, YF-86D, F-86D/L, F-86E, F-86E(M), QF-86E, F-86F, QF-86F, RF -86F, TF -86 F, YF-86H, F-86H, QF-86H. More than 9,800 Sabres were produced (of all the modifications). Follow-on updates and the perfecting of its armaments and avionics continued throughout the aircraft production period; for this reason, within the framework of one modification there are several various series. In this simulation we have modeled the F-86F modification of series 35, which is one of the latest series of the "F" modifications.

F-86F Cockpit

The cockpit of the F-86F series 35 was implemented with the maximum possible level of precision. The instruments, instrument panels, aircraft systems control panels, and controls were designed using high resolution textures and animations. The pilot's camera in the Sabre virtual cockpit has six degrees of freedom, which makes a player feel like they are in the real cockpit. The cockpit also supports Oculus VR.

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To simplify the mastering of the virtual cockpit, all the elements are equipped with cues appearing when you pass the mouse over them.

F-86F cockpit elements
F-86F cockpit elements

F-86F Model

The 3D Sabre model is implemented to the same high quality standards and best traditions of our designers; it is highly detailed using multitexture maps, normal maps, and specular maps, all the control surfaces are accurately animated.

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Key features of the F-86F Sabre model

Our F-86F model is the virtual copy of this famous aircraft in the truest sense of the word. The external model and the cockpit have been scrupulously simulated. As with all of our products, a very detailed simulation of the engine and flight dynamics is also included. This allows us to attain a very close correspondence between the operational and physical characteristics and all the peculiarities of F-86F Sabre flight behaviour. Employment of all the weapon systems (machine guns, rockets, bombs) is possible during various combat missions.

Geometric dimensions

Geometric dimensions
Geometric dimensions
Geometric dimensions

Performance characteristics

Normal crew: 1

Maximum allowable gross: 20,611 lbs / 9,348 kg

Basic weight: 11,125 lbs / 5,046 kg

Useful load (with pilot 230 lbs): 6,607 lbs / 2,996 kg

Weight with payload for normal mission: 15,175 lbs / 6,883 kg

Fuel usable capacity internal (JP-4, 0.778 kg/l): 2,826 lbs / 435 gal / 1,282 kg / 1,647 l

Fuel consumption rate (for loiter at 30,000 ft, CAS 192 kts, RPM 74%, gross weight 12,296-15,138 lbs): ~1,150 lbs/h / 522 kg/h

Normal cruise speed (for maximum range at 35,000 ft, RPM 78%, gross weight 12,296-15,138 lbs): 260 kts / 482 km/h

Maximum speed at sea level: 600 kts / 1,111 km/h

Maximum speed at 33,000 feet: 313 kts / 580 km/h

Service ceiling (for weight 14,000 lbs): 52,000 ft / 15,850 m

Maximum rate of climb: 9,500 ft/min / 2,835 m/min

Maximum range: 1,395 nm / 2,584 km


F-86F Sabre can perform different combat roles that include destruction of both air and ground targets. Integral weapons and various pod-type armament make it possible to show its combat capabilities:

- 6 Colt-Browning М3 machine guns (calibre – 12.7 mm, rate of fire – 1100 rounds per minute, weapons capacity – 300 rounds per machine gun)

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- 2 AN-M64 bombs

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- 16 HVAR unguided rockets

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General layout

F-86F general layout
  1. Command radio antenna
  2. J47-GE-27 engine
  3. Aft radio compartment
  4. Directional indicator transmitter
  5. Radio compass sense antenna
  6. Radio compass loop antenna
  7. Ejection seat
  8. Rear-vision mirror
  9. Gun-bomb-rocket sight
  10. Radar ranging equipment
  1. Battery
  2. Radar antenna
  3. Gun camera
  4. Retractable landing and taxi light
  5. Retractable landing light
  6. Oxygen cylinders
  7. Guns barrels
  8. Kick step
  9. Ammunition compartment
  10. Ammunition compartment access door
  1. Gun compartment
  2. Forward fuselage tank (lower cell)
  3. Forward fuselage tank (upper cell)
  4. Identification radar antenna
  5. Outer wing fuel tank
  6. Pitot head
  7. Aft fuselage fuel tank
  8. Speed brake
  9. Controllable horizontal tail (elevator and controllable stabilizer)
  10. Fin


The J47-GE-27 jet turbine engine installed on the F-86F was manufactured by General Electric and has a static thrust of about 6,000 pounds (2,680kgf).

J47-GE-27 jet turbine engine
  1. Air Intake
  2. Accessory Section
  3. Compressor Section
  4. Fuel Nozzle
  1. Combustion chamber
  2. Crossover Ignition Tube
  3. Turbine
  4. Exhaust Cone

The jet turbine model is based on the simulation of the gas-dynamic duct, the condition of which is closely interrelated to the air intake, compressor, combustion chamber, turbine, and exhaust cone models of operation. In addition to this, the engine fuel control system is fully simulated. All these models interrelate with each other and this makes it possible to attain manifestation of the following features:

  • The successful start of the engine is provided only if the startup operation has been performed correctly: otherwise hung start and dead-start are possible
  • Idle RPM depends on the flight mode: based on altitude and Mach number as well as on the atmospheric conditions of pressure and temperature
  • Short engine over-speed and overheat may occur at active throttle input
  • Acceleration time and throttle retardation as well as engine controllability (reaction lag on throttle) depend on RPM
  • Value of the jet pipe temperature is modeled in exact detail and it depends on the engine operating condition, flight mode and atmospheric conditions
  • Specific fuel consumption nonlinearly depends on the engine operating condition and flight mode
  • Dynamics of the engine operating conditions (RPM and gas temperature) are simulated correctly during engine start up, in flight, and during engine shutdown
  • The compressor autorotation regime of the engine from the approach flow was implemented as well as the ability to perform an air start (the success of which depends on the autorotation RPM)
  • Penetration into regimes of uneven engine operation such as stall, flameout in the combustion chamber, etc. may occur
  • Engine running at zero-G and negative-G load factors is restricted by capabilities of the fuel-feed system
Idle RPM

Engine fuel control system

Fuel consumption to the engine is governed by the fuel management system (engine fuel control system) consisting of the main fuel control system and emergency (back-up) fuel control system. The emergency system is used to maintain the fuel flow to the engine in case of a failure of the main system.

Engine fuel control system
A. Main fuel flow
B. Emergency fuel flow
C. Main by-pass flow
D. Emergency by-pass flow
E. Electrical connection
F. Mechanical linkage
G. Check valve
  1. From fuel supply
  2. Shutoff valve
  3. Fuel filter
  4. Engine waster switch
  5. Dual fuel pump
  6. Emergency fuel switch
  7. Emergency fuel regulatorc
  8. Fuel filter
  1. Main fuel regulator
  2. Throttle
  3. Stopcock
  4. Fuel flow meter
  5. Small-slot manifold (starting and operating)
  6. Flow divider
  7. Large-slot manifold (operating)
  8. Fuel nozzle

Fuel system

Fuel in the aircraft is kept in four tanks. Two fuel tanks are in the fuselage and one fuel tank is inside each half-wing. In order to increase the fuel load, external fuel tanks may be installed on the wings: two tanks under each half-wing. Fuel tank pylons located closer to the fuselage have a capacity of 450 liters (120 gallons). The tanks with a capacity of 750 liters (200 gallons) are mounted on special pylons located further from the fuselage.

Fuel system
A. Normal fuel flow
B. Fuel transfer
C. Air pressure
D. Check valve
E. Booster pump
F. Electrical connection
G. Mechanical linkage
H. Solenoid shutoff valve, spring-loaded open
  1. Air from engine compressor
  2. Drop tank control panel
  3. Left outboard drop tank
  4. Left inboard drop tank
  5. Fuel level control valve
  6. Forward fuselage tank (upper cell)
  7. Right inboard drop tank
  8. Right outboard drop tank
  1. Left wing tank
  2. Right wing tank
  3. Throttle
  4. Forward fuselage tank (lower cell)
  5. Fuel quantity gage
  6. Aft fuselage tank
  7. Engine master switch
  8. Supply to engine fuel control system

Electrical generating system

The DCS: F-86F is equipped with both DC and AC electrical systems.

Direct-Current (DC) power supplies:

  • 28 volt with a power supply from the generator mechanically connected with the engine rotor
  • 24 volt with a power supply from the battery, which serves as a standby DC power supply

Alternating-Current (AC) is provided by a single-phase (115V, 400Hz) and two three-phase (36V, 400Hz) inverters.

Hydraulic systems

DCS: F-86F Sabre has three separate hydraulic systems of constant pressure: utility hydraulic system, flight control normal hydraulic system, and flight control alternate hydraulic system.

The utility hydraulic system is completely independent of two boost systems. Moreover, it has a hydraulic accumulator for emergency extension of the nose landing gear.

Utility hydraulic system

The utility hydraulic system provides:

  • Landing gear actuation
  • Wheel brake operation
  • Nose wheel steering
  • Airbrake actuation
Utility hydraulic system
A. Supply
B. Utility pressure
C. Return
D. Accumulator pressure
E. Metered pressure
F. Pressurized air
G. Electrical connection
H. Mechanical linkage
I. Check valve
  1. Hydraulic pressure gage
  2. Hydraulic pressure gage selector switch
  3. Utility system hydraulic reservoir
  4. Variable-volume engine-driven pump
  5. Pressure transmitter
  6. Nose gear emergency accumulator
  7. To nose gear extend
  8. Landing gear emergency release handle
  9. Landing gear and door selector valve
  10. Speed brake control valve
  1. Emergency dump valve
  2. Speed brake emergency lever
  3. Landing gear handle
  4. Speed brake switch
  5. Speed brake cylinder
  6. Nose gear steering switch
  7. Nose gear steering valve
  8. Nose gear steering unit
  9. Brake master cylinder
  10. Parking brake handle
  11. Parking brake lock

Flight control hydraulic systems

There are two independent boost hydraulic systems: normal hydraulic system and alternate hydraulic system are installed in the F-86F flight control system.

The boost hydraulic systems are intended to control ailerons, horizontal tail and elevator (they transfer the governing input from the control stick to actuation hydraulic drives).

Flight control hydraulic systems
A. Supply
B. Normal pressure
C. Normal return
D. Alternate pressure
E. Alternate return
F. Electrical connection
G. Mechanical linkage
H. Check valve
I. Pressure switch
J. Pressure transmitter
  1. Flight control alternate system reservoir
  2. Flight control normal system reservoir
  3. Electric motor-driven alternate pump
  4. Hydraulic pressure gage
  5. Hydraulic pressure gage selector switch
  6. Engine-driven variable-volume pump
  7. System accumulator
  8. Flight control alternate-on warning light
  1. Flight control switch
  2. Emergency override handle
  3. Aileron actuating cylinder
  4. Hydraulic control valve
  5. Controllable horizontal tail actuating cylinder
  6. Aileron
  7. Controllable horizontal tail

Aircraft control system

The DCS: F-86F control system has a number of unique features:

  • Joined by mechanical coupling the elevator and horizontal tail, which is basically the tail unit
Elevator and horizontal tail
  1. Horizontal tail
  2. Elevator
  • The tail unit and ailerons are operated by the flight control boost hydraulic system, to which the governing input from the control stick is transferred via regulation hydraulic valves
  • Inconvertibility of the boost type aircraft control system excludes the inputs to control surfaces not coming from the control stick and also prevents transfer of any variable forces from control surfaces back to the control stick.

Thus, any aerodynamic loads are not tranferred to the control stick. However the pilot still feels input forces on the control stick. This is achieved by introducing roll and pitch feel spring mechanisms into the aircraft control system.

Cockpit pressurization and air conditioning systems

In our simulation, just like in the real F-86F, the pilot's health state in all the range of altitude and speeds is provided by two systems:

  • Cockpit pressurization, which provides pressure-seals in the cockpit and provides certain pressure in the cockpit (difference) depending on the flight altitude
  • The air conditioning system provides a "comfortable" temperature in the cockpit

Both systems use hot air from behind the engine compressor, and for this reason they are combined into one environment control system.

Cockpit pressurization and air conditioning systems
A. Hot air
B. Ram air
C. Cooled air
D. Mixed air
E. Electrical connection
F. Mechanical linkage
G. Shutoff valve
  1. Air from engine compressor
  2. Ammunition compt heat emer shutoff-pull up
  3. Tо engine anti-icing system
  4. To utility hyd reservoir
  5. Cooling air modulating valve
  6. Cockpit temp control box
  7. Cockpit pressure regulator
  8. Ammunition compt
  9. To gun heaters
  10. Refrigeration unit
  11. 4 kW cockpit heater
  1. Gun heater switch
  2. Dump valve
  3. Anti-g suit pressure regulating valve
  4. Canopy and windshield auxiliary defrost lever
  5. Windshield anti-icing outlet
  6. Windshield anti-icing overheat warning light
  7. Windshield anti-icing lever
  8. Canopy auxiliary defrost outlets
  9. Right side outlet
  10. Air outlet control valve
  11. Windshield defrost manifold
  12. Floor outlet

Pressure in the cockpit is maintained by the airflow from vent openings and is set by a differential pressure regulator depending on altitude. The greater the altitude, the more differential pressure (altitude difference) in the pilot's cockpit to maintain the normal vital functions.

Flight altitude and the 'altitude' in the cockpit

Thus, if a player does not observe the environmental control system settings, a "loss of consciousness" and "windshield weeping" may occur.

Aerodynamic performance of the flight model

The flight dynamics model describes the aerodynamic performance of the F-86F with the J47-GE-27 engine and the "6-3" wing of increased area without a drooping slat.

During the simulation, complex calculations of the characteristics of the aircraft constituent elements are performed taking into account their mutual influence in all the range of local angles of attack and of sideslip (including beyond stall angles as well), local ram-air flows and Mach numbers taking into account control deflections, and the level of destruction of certain elements of airframe and control surfaces.

As a result of the simulation, a series of aerodynamic peculiarities of the model should be noted, which according to the available documentation, are typical for the real aircraft.

High speed

Between high indicated airspeed and Mach number (within the flight restrictions), a series of unique characteristics manifest themselves in aircraft behaviour.

Starting at Mach 0.9, unintentional roll (wingheaviness) (to the left or to the right) manifests itself and it strengthens as the Mach number increases up to its limit values. Appearance of this wingheaviness is associated with the geometric asymmetry of half-wings and also with their unequal flexural-and-torsional load-deflection curves. The wingheaviness is accompanied by a significant decrease of the aileron effectiveness related to wave effects and wing deformation during their deflection.

The airflow compressibility influence on longitudinal flying qualities at high speeds remains insignificant up to Mach 0.95. With further increase of the Mach, the aircraft demonstrates excessive tendency to pitching-up, the compensation of which requires additional pushing force on the control stick.

Due to the above-mentioned peculiarities of the aircraft behaviour, the indicated air speed is restricted to 600 knots.

Reason: Developing wing heaviness at considerable decrease of the aileron effectiveness (at high values of the Mach number) and additional wing bending and wing torsion under the action of the airflow at aileron deflection.

Acceleration higher than the value of Mach 0.93 is only possible when descending.


At all speeds, the aircraft is sensitive to longitudinal control. This is especially true between Mach 0.8-0.9 and indicated air speed values over 500 knots.

The aircraft has relatively high maneuverability at all speeds. Here it should be taken into account that in order to execute most manoeuvers, a slight tail unit deflection (especially pitching displacement) is required.

However, at medium and low altitudes and indicated air speed over 500 knots, roll control becomes slow. This is due to the wing bending and wing torsion. Simultaneously, the aileron effectiveness decreases, which makes it difficult to maneuver at speeds over 550 knots.


Excess of Allowable Glideslopes

A characteristic feature of piloting is hyperreaction to longitudinal input of the control stick. This feature may lead to a stall of the aircraft or to exceed the operational glideslope.

Excess of Allowable Glideslopes

The warning factor of exceeding the maneuver limitation is the starting wing stalling accompanied by shaking and departure tendency. Piloting at the shaking mode is possible but requires particular attention to the aircraft behaviour and timely decrease of the g force (angle of attack) at a decrease of the indicated air speed of the flight.


Stalling in level flight occurs without warning shaking (typical for the unslatted F-86) to any side with a nosing down of the aircraft. Simultaneously, roll reversal manifests itself to the control stick input. The sign of upcoming stall may be developing includes vibrations, banking while holding the aircraft horizontally, and speed drop.

During landing, it is necessary to observe the recommended speed to prevent stalling speed in various configurations.

Stalling in level flight occurs at lower speeds based on configuration. This owes to the fact that in the flight at positive angles of attack there is a vertical component of the engine thrust decreasing value of the required lift and, consequently, value of the required angle of attack.

The presence of external loads increases the stalling speed approximately by 10 knots.

At vigorous pull-up command (due to the high controllability in pitch) can induce departure mode without the warning shaking with abrupt wing drop.


Recovery from a Stall

Recovery from a stall is performed by a slight pushover and increase of RPM.


An aircraft enters a spin in any configuration and in all the flight speed range up to the Mach number of 0.9. In any case, the spin is the result of stall at excessing available g forces during maneuvering or at the drop of speed lower than the allowable one for the current weight and flight configuration of the aircraft.

With the correct spin recovery technique taken into account and available altitude, aircraft recovery is possible from any kind of spin.

Upon entering a spin, the aircraft nose goes below the horizon to the angle of 50-75 degrees with a slow rotation. When the rotation rate increases, the aircraft nose goes up almost to the horizon. The first spin turn occurs approximately in 5-8 sec. with the altitude loss of 500-600 feet. During the next turn, the rotation rate increases with the diminution of amplitude of nosing up to the horizon and an increase of the climb angle to the vertical one.

At the same time, with each next turn the altitude loss increases and may reach 2.000 feet per turn.

Typically, the aircraft falls into a right-hand spin.

A spin with increased engine thrust is characterized by smaller climb angles and higher rotation rate.

A spin with minimal thrust or without power is characterized by a steeper (up to 90 degrees in the process of development) trajectory.

The spin quality does not change with the speedbrakes deployed.

In landing configuration, the spin peculiarity is smaller altitude loss at first turns.

With external fuel tanks, a change of spin direction may occur both upon entering the spin and after several turns.

Spin recovery

Spin recovery occurs when the controls are set to their neutral position. As a rule, simultaneously, the aircraft recovers from the spin on its own with some delay.

For a controlled spin recovery, it is recommended:

  • Set the throttle to idle to decrease the altitude loss;
  • Set rudder (pedal) against the rotation;
  • Set the control stick into the neutral position;

If an aircraft carrying external loads has entered a spin and it is impossible to recover from the spin in the course of one or one and a half turns, then it is recommended to jettison all external loads and recover the aircraft from the spin according to the normal procedure.

Forbidden Maneuvers

It is forbidden to execute the following maneuvers:

  • Snap-rolls and other aggressive maneuvers (pitch oscillation, pitch departure and AOA overshoot can occur);
  • Inverted flight or any other maneuver with negative g for more than 10 seconds because continuous engine fuel feed is not provided;
  • Continuous rotation about the roll axis with certain variants of external loads.