No. 9981. Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk.1 (19101 c/n 1) Royal Canadian Air Force
Photograph from RCAF, taken March 1951

Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk.1

08/31/2010. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "In 1948 the RCAF selected the North American F-86 as its next fighter, primarily to fulfill Canada's NATO commitment in Europe, a logical choice for it was the foremost fighter of its time in the air forces of the NATO countries. It was decided to build F-86s in Canada and Canadair at Cartierville, Quebec was entrusted with the task.

The North American F-86 development had started late in the war, approximately in parallel with a similar straight-wing fighter for the US Navy. However, when information became available in the summer of 1945 about German technical discoveries it was agreed to alter the design to a swept-wing aircraft. This delayed the project but resulted in making the F-86 a most successful aircraft.

The aircraft was of stressed-skin construction and the wing had tapered and machined wing skins. Speed-brakes were incorporated in the fuselage sides. Its armament, which remained constant in all Canadian-made versions, was six 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M-3 machineguns, two 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs or equivalent in other bombs or military stores or sixteen 5 in (12.7 cm) high-velocity aircraft rockets.

The sole Sabre Mk.1, RCAF 19101, was produced from US-made components but has been considered as the Canadian prototype. As the runway at Cartierville factory was being enlarged, the aircraft was towed to nearby Dorval Airport and was first flown there on August 9, 1950, by Alexander J. Lilly. The aircraft was taken on strength by the RCAF two days later.

For testing it was coded 'CK-R', this being changed to PX-101 when the aircraft moved to the CEPE (Central Experimental and Proving Establishment) in Uplands, Ontario in 1957. Jim Bauman states: "My father flew this plane when he was at CEPE, and he has had this photo since."

After been put on display in front of 700 Wing of the RCAF Association in Edmonton, Alberta from 14 July 1965 on, the aircraft was struck off charge the following September 7. It has been on display at Edmonton since, by 2001 it was transferred into the Alberta Aviation Museum, also at Edmonton."

Created August 31, 2010