North American F-86A Sabre (c/n 151-43547)/48-0178/FU-178/8178/G-SABR
Construction of North American F-86A Sabre (c/n 151-43547) began in 1948 and was the 50th Sabre to roll off the North American Aviation production line in Los Angeles, California, in February 1949. When released to the US Air Material Command, it was allocated the USAF serial number 48-0178 and issued to the 1st Fighter Wing’s, 94th Fighter Squadron ‘Hat-in-the-Ring’ at March Field, California on the 14th April 1949. In 1970, Ben W. Hall, a former P-51 Mustang pilot based in Seattle, Washington State, acquired 48-0178 from a scrap yard in Fresno, California.
Following restoration to flying condition at Pain Field, WA, 48-0178 flew again on the 24th May 1974 registered as N68388. Ben flew the Sabre for 13 years during which time it was re-registered as N178 in October 1983. In 1989, it was acquired by Fort Wayne Air Service in Indiana, and in 1990 by Golden Apple Operations Ltd. After some further restoration work carried out on it by Fort Wayne Air Service, it was registered with the British CAA as G-SABR on the 6th November 1991. It was dismantled and travelled across the Atlantic by ship and re-assembled at Bournemouth in March 1992 an then on to Duxford where it has been based ever since.
Although finished in USAF Korean War markings of FU-178/8178, 48-0178 never ventured off the continental USA during its service life.