At the dawn of the jet age, the Sabre was the best fighter in the world and to this day is still considered the “fighter pilot’s fighter”.  

Chosen by the RCAF in August 1949, the F-86 Sabre served in Western Europe from the early days of the Cold War until 1962 when it was replaced by the CF-104 Starfighter. Built under license from North American Aviation of the U.S., all Canadian Sabres were built by Canadair Ltd at its Cartierville, Quebec plant near Montreal.

Ultimately, Canadair built six variants of the Sabre. The most famous and capable Sabre was the CL-13B Sabre 6. Powered by the Canadian- built Orenda 14 engine which produced 7,275 pounds of thrust, the aircraft had a top speed of 710 mph (1,140 km/h) and a service ceiling of 55,000 feet (16,700 metres). When the last F-86 Sabre rolled off the assembly line at Canadair in 1958, the company had manufactured a total of 1,815 Sabres, of which 1,183 had been delivered to the RCAF.

At the height of its operational service, over 300 RCAF Sabres were based on the European continent as part of Canada’s collective defence contribution to NATO. The Canadian-built planes served in the RCAF as well as the air forces of Britain, West Germany, Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey, South Africa, Pakistan, Honduras, and Colombia.


In 1959 the RCAF chose the F-86 when it formed the Golden Hawks aerobatic team to celebrate the golden anniversary of flight in Canada. One of the finest aerobatic performers in history, the team thrilled millions across North America. Hawk One is a tribute to their legacy.

The Hawk One team brings together a formidable group of highly experienced military and civilian professionals and will visit Winnipeg from June 14-16, 2011 at the Western Canada Aviation Museum.


Tuesday, June 14: 12:30 pm to 7:00pm

Wednesday, June 15: 10:30 am to 7:00 pm

Thursday, June 16: 9:30 am to 11:00 am

Advance admission tickets can be purchased at the museum during regular business hours