F-89, F-94, F-86D: Were all three necessary? (2024)

Turns out that in a thread, there was confusion over my responses to a multitude of members at the same time, as a result I'm going to better identify my responses


Post #2: 2/16/15

All-weather interceptors were 'evolving' .... one engine or two ...? single-man crew or double ...?

As far as I know, the F-89 started out as a night-fighter (P-61 replacement) that ended up being used as an all-weather interceptor.

As for night-fighters, most night-fighters were usually twin-seaters: The F4U, F6F, F7F-1N were exceptions to this and possibly the Defiant. Most night-fighters during WWII were essentially modified aircraft designed for other purposes: The only dedicated night-fighters I can readily think of are the P-61, the He-219, and Ta-154.

As for twin-engines, it usually had to do with the ability to carry the radar and twin or multi-man crew. They were also usually designed for standing patrols, which required endurance and that shaped the size. The P-61 was also required to carry turrets for some reason, and actually the F-89 was also supposed to have a nose-turret that was removed for one reason or another.

F-94 Starfires served as night fighters during the Korean War ... with a kill or to IIRC.

That was something I didn't know, but it's nice to know that the USAF had an all-weather jet flying around (the USN had the F3D by 1952 at least).

Post #5: 2/16/15

I assume you mean we got overconfident in our ability to stop enemy bombers?


Post #3: 2/16/15

IIRC the F-89 was supposed to be the "cure all" but it had issues in it's development to include the radar that was to be installed in the aircraft.

I didn't know the radar had problems, though I know they had a variety of issues regarding the wings and fuel tanks.

The F-94C was eventually replaced by the F-89 and F-86D but it stayed in service until 1959.

No, the F-89 flew first; then the F-94 and F-86D.


Post #6: 2/16/15

I imagine pilots were more than a little frustrated when they shot off all of their rockets at once and didn't score a single hit.

I could believe it!

Perhaps statistically they were more likely to score a hit with rockets than guns, but I'm sure it didn't feel that way in the co*ckpit.

Well one hit would blow a bomber apart, but the problem is they were kind of scattered out over an area the size of a football field in one blast. A machine gun would fire a stream of projectiles over a much narrower area: Even if the weight of fire didn't blow up the bomber outright, it doesn't matter as it has a substantial refire rate and has enough shells to fire for a certain number of seconds: This would allow you to walk the tracers onto the target and hold it there until the target goes down.

The later F-89s were armed with nuclear air-to-air rockets, part of the whole "tactical" nuke strategy that seemed more likely to cause an all-out nuclear war than to avert one.

I was under the impression that by the time these were used, we'd already be in a nuclear war.


Post #9: 7/17/15

The F-94 did not add anything to the mix. It performed similarly to the F-89 but carried half the weaponry and was probably shorter ranged. The F-86D was a much better performing aircraft in climb and airspeed, however it carried one-fifth the weaponry as the F-89.

You kind of hit the nail on the head with the armament.

As for catching a B-47,the after-burning F-86D should have little problem being almost a 100 mph faster than the B-47. The other two would struggle. However, both have much higher ceiling and could use that for energy.

That would depend on a number of things, but a B-47 if I recall could fly quite high up (45,000-50,000 feet) and at that altitude still had a a decent amount of lift available for maneuvering (fighters had trouble staying with it).


Post #16: 4/18/16

View attachment 341497

What kind of rocket gun was used in the test?

kool kitty 89

Post #17: 5/5/16

The rocket salvo idea made sense

Yeah, becuase each shot did so much damage per hit

until you realized the poor accuracy of those FFARs (which really hadn't improved much over the German R4M) and might have made a reasonable complement to gun/cannon armament (again as the R4M did), but the all-rocket armament scheme seems pretty flawed and not just in hindsight.

Actually, the R4M might have been better as was better spin-stabilized and had eight fins to hold it steady. The 2.75" FFAR was not properly spin-stabilized early on and used only four-fins to hold it in steady and at least one pilot basically said he was amazed "we hit anything" with them.

The F-86D and F-94 might have compromised with just 2 M39s given their smaller size and nose geometry, plus the F-94 could carry rocket pods in addition to a nose armament while the F-86D might need to compromise between cannon and rocket tray in the belly and/or nose.

The rocket-pod seems like a good idea, not sure why they didn't go with it.

F-89, F-94, F-86D: Were all three necessary? (2024)


How many F-86 were shot down in the Korean War? ›

According to official US data ("USAF Statistical Digest FY1953"), the USAF lost 250 F-86 fighters in Korea. Of these, 184 were lost in combat (78 in air-to-air combat, 19 by anti-aircraft guns, 26 were "unknown causes" and 61 were "other losses") and 66 in incidents.

Did the F-86 have an afterburner? ›

The F-86D “Sabre Dog” and the derivative K and L models had afterburners, but so did other subsonic point-defense interceptors like the straight-winged Northrop F-89 and Lockheed F-94. Those were heavy aircraft that needed the extra thrust to accelerate and climb, if they were to successfully intercept enemy bombers.

Did a Corsair ever shoot down a MiG? ›

One of the Navy and Marine Corps' finest fighters, Corsairs shot down 2,140 Japanese aircraft during World War II and in the Korean War a Marine pilot became the first to down a MiG-15 jet while flying a propeller-driven aircraft.

Could the F-86 go supersonic? ›

The F-86 was not designed as a supersonic aircraft, but nevertheless could break the sound barrier under ideal conditions. Against the backdrop of the “hot war” in southeast Asia and the political Cold War, the North American F-86 Sabre was intended to demonstrate US military strength.

Can the F-22 go supersonic without afterburner? ›

This fighter jet boasts an exceptional capability known as supercruise. This means the F-22 can sustain supersonic speeds (around Mach 1.5) without using afterburners.

Did the F-86 see combat? ›

This F-86A saw combat against MiG-15s during the Korean War. It flew most of its missions from Kimpo Air Base near Seoul and bears the markings of the 4th Fighter Wing, the first F-86 unit in Korea.

How many US planes were shot down in Korean War? ›

During the Korean War air campaign, the US suffered 2,714 aircraft destroyed and 4,055 missing personnel killed. The circ*mstances of air losses in the Korean War drive much of the on-going research focus.

Was the F-86 better than the MiG-15? ›

The MiG's cannons fired heavy, destructive shells at a slow rate while the Sabre's guns fired lighter shells at a much higher rate of fire. In the high-speed dogfights typical of MiG Alley, communist pilots found it very difficult to hit the F-86s they faced.

How many B 29s were shot down in the Korean War? ›

Contents. Officially, 34 B-29s were lost during the Korean War: 16 were destroyed by fighter aircraft, 14 by other causes, and four by anti-aircraft weapons. The B-29 bombers performed 21,000 missions, dropped 167,000 tons of bombs, and only took 26 days off from combat throughout the conflict.

Who lost the most soldiers during the Korean War? ›

The Hook
  • Around 60,000 members of the British armed forces served in Korea, many were National Servicemen.
  • British forces: over 1,100 killed and 2,600 wounded.
  • American forces: nearly 37,000 killed and 92,000 wounded.
  • South Korean forces: at least half a million killed or wounded.

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