from David Hart

The Western Museum of Flight (WMOF), located at the Hawthorne Airport in Southern California, currently has four aircraft in the process of restoration, including this F-86F Sabre. Member David Hart sent us the information and a few photos that were taken at the Hawthorne Air Faire held on 13 August 2005.

The F-86F SabreJet was manufactured at the North American Aviation plant in Inglewood, California. This particular F-86F was number 122 in a series of 280 aircraft built for the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF), and was the last F-86 in the JASDF inventory. The Sabre was used in the retirement ceremonies that the JASDF had for their F-86's, 15 March 1982.

The WMOF obtained the aircraft in November 1997 and is in the final stages of restoration. Presently, work is going on to eliminate corrosion and polish the metal skin. At the time of the Air Fair, the Sabre had no engine, but the cockpit instruments and switches had been fully restored.

When restoration is complete, the aircraft will be marked to replicate the F-86F that Jack Simpson flew as a member of the 35th Fighter Bomber Squadron based at Suwon AB, South Korea. Christened "Suitcase's Appleknocked", Simson flew most of his 61 combat missions in the aircraft.

No portion of this article may be used or reprinted without permission from the President of the F-86 Sabre Pilots Association or the editor of Sabre Jet Classics magazine.

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