NA F-86 vs Saab J29 -which why?

delcyros

Tech Sergeant
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Mar 2, 2005
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A classic early jet vs jet dogfight scenario.
Just wondering recently which jet was the better performer in the air to air role.
both are classic first generation jet fighters with single engined, fuselage mounted jet engine and swept back wings.


Saab J 29 -Tunnan A("Barrel"):

date: late 1948

span: 11.0m
length: 10.23m
height: 3.75m
wingarea: 24.15 m^2
wingsweep: 25 degrees

empty weight: 4580 Kg
normal weight: 6880 Kg
max. take off: 7530 Kg

wingload: 284.88 kg/m^2
powerload: 93.99 kp/m^2
spanload: 625.45 kg/m
thrust-weight-relation: 0.3299

critical Mach speed: 0.86*
range: 525 mls

thrust: 2270 Kp
initial climb rate: 28,5 m/s (5660 fps)
time to 10000m: 438 sec.
max. altitude: 13700m

armament: 4 x 20 mm, 180 rpg each
12 x 75mm air to air rockets (unguided)

On 6 May 6 1954, a J-29B set a world record on a closed 500 km circuit of 977 km/h (606.8 mp/h) previously held by an F-86. Two Saab J 29C (reconnaissance variant) additionally set an international speed record of 900.6 Kph (559.4 mph) over a 1,000 km (621 mile) closed-circuit course in 1955.

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North American F-86A Sabre

date: late 1948

span: 11.31m
length: 11.43m
height: 4.5m
wingarea: 29.1m^2
wingsweep: 35 degrees

empty weight: 4780 Kg
normal weight: 6300 Kg
max. take off weight: 7360 Kg

wingload: 216.5Kg/m^2
powerload: 75.6 kp/m^2
spanload: 583 kg/m
thrust-weight-relation: 0.3333

critical Mach speed: 0.89*
range: 485 mls.

thrust: 2200 Kp
initial climb rate: 20 m/s (4000 fpm)
time to 10000m: un
max. altitude: 14630m

armement: 6 x 0.50 cal. MK3

F-86 A Sabre sets world aircraft speed record of 1080 kph (670.8 mp/h) on sept. 15th 1948
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I can see both planes about equal with some edge to the F-86 Sabre. Which one whould You choose and why?

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sources for pics: above (F-86) from Wikipedia, pic open to public domain, picture below from http://www.saabgroup.com/NR/rdonlyres/0BDF7C25-04BD-49D3-99AF-77EF2AE5D5DB/0/1948_J29.jpg
 

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FLYBOYJ

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When compared to early Sabres, I'd give it to the J-29. Later models of the Sabre were superior. The J-29 actually came a year later than the F-86. Don't forget the Navy versions as well as the Avon Sabres.


General characteristics (FJ-4)


General characteristics
Crew: 1
Length: 36 ft 4 in (11.1 m)
Wingspan: 39 ft 1 in (11.9 m)
Height: 13 ft 11 in (4.2 m)
Wing area: 338.66 ft² (31.46 m²)
Empty weight: 13,210 lb (5,992 kg)
Loaded weight: 20,130 lb (9,130 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 23,700 lb (10,750 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Wright J65-W-16A turbojet, 7,700 lbf (34 kN)
Performance
Maximum speed: 680 mph (1,090 km/h) at 35,000 ft (10,670 m)
Range: 2,020 mi (3,250 km) with 2× 200-gallon (760 L) drop tanks and 2× AIM-9 missiles
Service ceiling: 46,800 ft (14,300 m)
Rate of climb: 7,660 ft/min (38.9 m/s)
Wing loading: 69.9 lb/ft² (341.7 kg/m²)
Thrust/weight: .325
Armament
Guns: 4× 20 mm (0.787 in) cannon
Missiles: 4× AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles
Bombs: 3,000 lb (1,400 kg) of underwing ordnance, including missiles
 

delcyros

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Mar 2, 2005
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I agree Flyboy, the later Sabre´s are superior, hands down. The earlier versions both are very competetive planes. Thanks also for Your contribution of the FJ-4 datas (This plane really is my personal favourite 1st gen. jet).

From what can be read it seems that a SAAB official got hands on german aerodynamic papers considering swept back wings and area rule´s via some inofficial channels in switzerland in late 1947 (when the design process was already finished for a straight wing Saab J 29) and quickly transferred the paper (which the swiss earlier passed to US officials) to Sweden.
Still they implemented the swept back wing idea with leading edge slots (implying that part of the papers origin from Messerschmidt AG) rapidly into the design. A very quick work for such a small country! However, the Tunnan are genuine swedish design work (except for the licence build DH Ghost jet engine), respectively the F-86 is a genuine US design.

What surprised me is that so many different airplanes evolved from the same problem with a similar appearence. Perhaps we should open the competition to other "similar looking jets": Dassoult Mystere I, the Mig-15 and the La-15?

compare to J-29:
The SAAB 29 Tunnan
 

pbfoot

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niagara falls
Well once again I'll go for the Canadair MK6 as the F86 jock I talked to yesterday said about RCAF Sabres in Europe
"we made more money our dollar was worth more we went higher and faster and were more handsome" :lol:
 

delcyros

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Mar 2, 2005
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Hi Flyboy,

did the FJ-4 really had a top speed in level flight of 680 mp/h at 35.000ft?
Using
Standard Atmosphere Calculator
for calculation of Mach speed this would imply a level speed of Mach 1.01 at this altitude! All I could find was that the critical Mach speed of the FJ-4 (as designed) was 0.95, the plane was subsonic and not supersonic.
 

FLYBOYJ

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From everything I gathered it seems about right. That calculator you showed is measuring airspeed at standard no wind conditions, sure the aircraft is going to exceed Mach 1. Here's something else to look at - the U-2 flies at 60,000 feet - it had about a 10 knot window where it could start exceeding the speed of sound or stall - all at about 400 mph indicated airspeed. Certainly the U-2 is not a supersonic aircraft.
 

delcyros

Tech Sergeant
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Mar 2, 2005
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Sure the Sabre could go supersonic. But all accounts make clear that it had to use a near vertical dive to make full use of mother earths gravety to slip through. Exceeding Mach 1 in level flight seems a bit questionable for the FJ-4. I admit I am not sure about this.

best regards
 

FLYBOYJ

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The '29F had afterburner and had a topspeed of 1.060 km/h and carried 2 AIM-B Sidewinders
The 29F was still slower than the F-86F and H and the F-86F was also armed with sidewinders. The ROC used them with great effectiveness.
 

Lucky13

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In my castle....
Any idea how much faster she was? Can't have been that much...Mach is what...1.125 km/h or something, above that she's a supersonic fighter..or am I completely off the marker? :lol:
 

FLYBOYJ

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Any idea how much faster she was? Can't have been that much...Mach is what...1.125 km/h or something, above that she's a supersonic fighter..or am I completely off the marker? :lol:
I show the J-29F at 1060km/h = 658.7 mph. the F-86F was 30 MPH faster, the F-86H almost 40.
 

Lucky13

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In my castle....
Not as much as I thought that it would be.....but in this business it's what can can save your life....it's still 30-40 mph faster.... Would you say that they were otherwise comparable?
 

FLYBOYJ

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Not as much as I thought that it would be.....but in this business it's what can can save your life....it's still 30-40 mph faster.... Would you say that they were otherwise comparable?

I think they were close. As stated I think the J-29 might of been superior to the early Sabers but that "gap" was quickly closed.
By the time the J-29F was flying I think the F-100 and Hunter were on their way in. The J-29 was better on unpaved surfaces as seen by its UN service in the Congo.
 

Lucky13

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In my castle....
How do you think that she'd managed if Sweden had sent them to Korea? True, something that was just as important as we designed new machines after the '29....be able to take off from country roads, frozen lakes etc. etc...
 

FLYBOYJ

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How do you think that she'd managed if Sweden had sent them to Korea? True, something that was just as important as we designed new machines after the '29....be able to take off from country roads, frozen lakes etc. etc...
I think it would of had a tough time. The MiG would of still been more maneuverable and was able to accelerate faster (The MiG weighed 5,000 pounds less on take off.), it had a way better climb rate. I show the MiG-15 being about 6 mph faster so I think for the most part speed might be even. I think the J-29 had more effective armament. Although the MiG had heavier cannons, the J-29s Hispano 20mms were perfect for a fighter of that era.
 

FLYBOYJ

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So the Mig-15 would have had an, well, easier time with the '29 then with the F-86 then? Or would it have been more up to the pilots?
I think pilot skill would of been able to counter some of the advantages the MiG-15 had. Swede pilots have always been considered "very good" and I would guess had they participated in the air war it would of been "pilot skill" that would of kept them at the advantage, of course this is all hypothetical.
 

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