No. 4781. Commonwealth CA-27 Sabre Mk.32 (A94-954 c/n 27-54) Royal Australian Air Force
Photographed at Toowoomba Airport, Queensland, Australia, by Ian McDonell

Commonwealth CA-27 Sabre Mk.32

04/30/2011. The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) Sabre was based on the North American F-86F but incorporated a considerable amount of local major redesign to allow it to be powered by an engine of greater power and lighter installed weight than the 6,100 lb (2,767 kg) s.t General Electric J-47. With the selected 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) s.t Rolls-Royce RA.7 Avon consuming 25 % more air than the J-47, a much larger air inlet duct was necessary, and its lighter weight necessitated its re-positioning further aft in order to preserve the original CofG position.

British-built engines were fitted to the prototype and the first productions series, later these were mixed with CAC license-built examples. By their engine the Austarlian Sabres were also referred to as Avon-Sabres. Structural redesign and the re-arrangement of internal equipment resulted in only about 40 % of the original fuselage structure being retained. A heavier cannon armament was also installed, and provision was made for the fitting of under-wing missiles, rockets and bombs. A total of 112 aircraft were produced:

Commonwealth CA-26 Sabre.
The sole CA-26 (s/n A94-101, c/n 1428) was the prototype CAC Sabre, it was first flown by Flight-Lieutenant Bill Scott on August 3, 1953.

Commonwealth CA-27 Sabre Mk.30.
First production series of 22 aircraft (s/n A94-901 to A94-922, c/n CA27-1 to CA27-22), the first aircraft was delivered on August 19, 1954. Starting August 30, 1955, all but one (s/n A94-911 c/n CA27-11, which had crashed two months after delivery) were eventually converted to the Mk.31, the last was returned to operations on October 1, 1962.

Commonwealth CA-27 Sabre Mk.31.
Second production series of 20 aircraft (s/n A94-923 to A94-942, c/n CA27-23 to CA27-42), the first flew June 30, 1955, and was delivered July 25. The Mk.31 was fitted with the Avon Mk.20 engine and had a redesigned wing, the drop out leading edge slats were deleted, and the chord was widened, 6 in (15.24 cm) at the root and 3 in (7.62 cm) at the tip, hence the new wing was as the '6-3' wing.

Commonwealth CA-27 Sabre Mk.32.
Initially a series of 48 aircraft (s/n A94-943 to A94-990, c/n CA27-43 to
CA27-90) was produced of which the first was delivered October 10, 1956, the last in 1958. The Mk.32 was fitted with the Avon Mk.26 engine and the "dual store" wing had four instead of two under-wing hard points.
Subsequently a further series of 21 aircraft (s/n A94-351 to A94-371 c/n CA27-91 to CA27-111) were built, fitted with the latest radar and provision for Sidewinder missiles. The first Mk.32 with Sidewinders flew for the first time on July 30, 1959. These missiles were retrospectively fitted to earlier models.

The pictured aircraft was delivered to the RAAF on January 30, 1957, after an uneventful fourteen years it was put in storage on June 25, 1971. Subsequently it was sold and in 1989 exported to the USA, where it eventually was put on display in the color scheme seen here.
It represents the markings of the North American NA-172 F-86E Sabre (s/n 51-2747, c/n 172-30) as flown in the Korean War by WW II ace Colonel Walker (Bud) Mahurin. It returned to Australia in July 1999 and put on display at Toowoomba. Subsequently it went to New Zealand where it was offered for sale on an on-line auction site, in a slightly modified color scheme.

Created November 30, 2005