Imran H. Khan

Yousaf_Khan

In order to get a much deeper understanding of the capabilities of F-86, I had a unique opportunity to have a candid discussion about its performance in actual air combat with a  Pakistan Air Force officer, then Flt. Lt Yousaf Ali Khan. He shared his experience in the F-86 in the video below. His praise of F-86 is specially noteworthy as he can objectively compare it with other contemporary fighters like the Hunter and Mig-21 which he also flew.  Besides his insights into the noteworthy aspects of the F-86, his story is a compelling one from a number of different aspects. While the video was made in very informal circumstances, I thought that it worthwhile sharing it as it was a unique opportunity to capture some very important historical events that shaped the 1965 war of the Indian sub continent.

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Imran H. Khan

F-86_dayton_FrontSome stories take a lifetime to develop. Sometimes an incredibly capable concoction of aluminium, rubber and electronics ends up reminding you of its significance from time to time all during ones life. One such very exquisite piece of technology is the F-86 Sabre. Most recently I came across it standing in the National Museum of USAF in Dayton Ohio. It belonged to Bruce Hinton who became the first US pilot to shoot down a Mig-15 in the Korean war. My earliest childhood memory in Mauripur PAF base, Karachi are filled with the sights and sounds of this new aircraft that would shake the windows of our house, as the pilots were flying them low like the propeller driven planes that they had been used to. One of my fondest memory is of my father taking me to the F-86 that he had just ferried from the US. He had hidden an inordinate number of toys in all possible compartments that he opened one after the other to my unending joy. It was quite a heady times for a newly formed nation with such state of the art planes. I can only imagine what a high it would have been for my father from being a refugee ,with the only belonging being the clothes on his body a few years earlier after partition, to being able to fly these shiny airborne chariots. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) ended up acquiring 240 Sabres that stayed in service from 1956 to 1979.

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