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CAC CA-27 Avon-Sabre (F-86F)

Australia (1954)
Picture of CAC CA-27 Avon-Sabre (F-86F) Jet-Powered, Single-Seat Fighter / Fighter-Bomber

CAC of Australia produced the RAAF version of the North American F-86F Sabre jet fighter as the CA-27 Avon-Sabre with changes enacted to suit local requirements.


Detailing the development and operational history of the CAC CA-27 Avon-Sabre (F-86F) Jet-Powered, Single-Seat Fighter / Fighter-Bomber.  Entry last updated on 6/15/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The F-86 "Sabre" was a success story for the North American Company as 9,860 of all types were made, making it one of the more influential of the early jet fighters in service anywhere in the world. Variants proved plentiful as there were dedicated fighter types, reconnaissance platforms and special mission types witnessed over the course of a long and illustrious fighting career. In Australia, the Sabre was adopted, but through more of an indirect route, as the F-86F laid the foundation for what was to become an evolved Sabre form by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) - the "Avon-Sabre".

The F-86F fell to Australia under license-manufacture and this laid the groundwork for the prototype form "CA-26". The chief change was the introduction of the British Rolls-Royce "Avon" Mk 26 turbojet supplanting the original American-originated General Electric J47 system. This forced a major redesign of the fuselage structure to accommodate the new engine's air draw and lighter weight. The fuselage was lengthened at its front and shortened at its rear while given a deeper profile. The six 0.50 caliber Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) were replaced by a pair of 30mm Aden cannons providing greater firepower. Two underwing hardpoints allowed for the carrying of drop bomb, rocket and missiles. Performance from the new engine offered a 50% increase to thrust and , before the end, the aircraft retained just 40 percent of its original structure making it something of an all-new design - though the general form of the American Sabre was still readily identifiable - including its low-mounted, swept-back wing surfaces, "tear-drop" style canopy and nose-mounted intake.

Once readied, CA-26 undertook its first flight on August 3rd, 1953. Following testing and acceptance trials, the aircraft was adopted under contract "CA-27" and came to be known as the "Avon-Sabre" due to its choice of powerplant. From this came 111 total production examples which began delivery to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1954. The initial 22 units were designated Sabre Mk.30 and completed with imported Avon RA.7 turbojet engines while their wings featured slats. The following 20 aircraft arrived as Sabre Mk.31 fighters and were the first to feature CAC-produced Avon 20 turbojet engines while their wings were non-slatted and leading edges extended some. The Sabre Mk.32 model carried the in-house Avon 26 turbojet of 7,500lb thrust. An additional set of underwing hardpoints were also included to bring the total to four weapon stations. The Sabre Mk.31 variant were Mk.30 aircraft with non-slatted "6-3" wings. A further 20 "new-build" aircraft arrived in this standard from CAC to further strengthen the inventory. The final iteration of the Avon-Sabre was the Sabre Mk.32 which relied on the Avon 26 series engine and sixty-nine of this mark were produced into 1961.

The Sabre Mk.32 exhibited a maximum speed of 700 miles per hour, a range out to 1,155 miles and a service ceiling up to 52,000 feet. Its rate-of-climb reached 12,000 feet-per-minute. Up to 5,300lb of external stores could be carried (in addition to the two fixed, standard 30mm internal cannons) across four total hardpoints - made up primarily of 2 x 500lb / 1,000lb conventional drop bombs, 24 x 80mm Hispano SURA rockets, or 2 x AIM-9 Sidewinder Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs). The two inner-most hardpoints were typically reserved for jettisonable external fuel tanks to increase inherent operational ranges.

Avon-Sabres led a solid life in service to the RAAF with a flying career spanning 1954 to 1971. They also made up the "Black Panther" aerobatic teams witnessed from 1965-1966. At least seven RAAF squadrons equipped with the type including No.2 Operational Conversion Unit and No.5 Operational Training Unit. First combat exposure occurred during the "Malayan Emergency" (1948-1960) in which Commonwealth forces intended to prevent a communist takeover of Malaya. These sorties were strike runs against enemy targets. From 1963 until 1966, Sidewinder-equipped Avon-Sabres were used in the air defense role against Indonesia during the Indonesian-Malaysian confrontation. Further actions saw Avon-Sabres stationed in Thailand to support the local government against communist actions there. During the Vietnam War (1955-1975) Avon-Sabres remained in Thailand but did not see direct action against North Vietnamese air power.

The end of the line began to appear for Avon-Sabres during the mid-1960s when the RAAF moved to adopt the French Dassault "Mirage III" interceptor (detailed elsewhere on this site). This led to their eventual retirement from service in 1971-1972. Existing stocks were sold off to both Malaysia and Indonesia where they ended their flying careers in time.

Any available statistics for the CAC CA-27 Avon-Sabre (F-86F) Jet-Powered, Single-Seat Fighter / Fighter-Bomber are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (684mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the CAC CA-27 Avon-Sabre's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
112
112


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: Australia
Year: 1954
Type: Jet-Powered, Single-Seat Fighter / Fighter-Bomber
Manufacturer(s): Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) - Australia
Production: 112
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Australia; Indonesia; Malaysia
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the CAC CA-27 Avon-Sabre model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
37.57 ft


Meters
11.45 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
37.07 ft


Meters
11.3 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
14.44 ft


Meters
4.4 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
12,004 lb


Kilograms
5,445 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
21,208 lb


Kilograms
9,620 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet engine developing 7,500 pounds of thrust.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
684 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
1,100 kph


Knots
594 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,150 mi


Kilometers
1,850 km


Nautical Miles
999 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
52,001 ft


Meters
15,850 m


Miles
9.85 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
12,000 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
3,658 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft external fuel tank
Armament - Hardpoints (4):

STANDARD:
2 x 30mm ADEN cannons in forward fuselage.

OPTIONAL:
Four underwing hardpoints for up to 5,300 pounds of external stores.

24 x 80mm Hispano SURA R80 High-Explosive (HE) rockets.
2 x AIM-9 "Sidewinder" short-range air-to-air missiles.
4 x 1,000lb conventional drop bombs
2 x Fuel drop tanks in lieu of two bombs
Variants: Series Model Variants
• CA-26 - Base Series Designation; single prototype completed.
• Sabre Mk 30 - Initial production mark; fitted with Avon 20 series engine; leading-edge slats; 22 examples completed.
• Sabre Mk 31 - Mk 30 versions with extended leading edges; 20 conversions of existing aircraft.
• Sabre Mk 32 - Final variant fitting Avon 26 series engine; underwing pylon hardpoints introduced for carrying heavier ordnance; 69 examples produced.