Manufacturer: North American

Model: unknown

Name: Sabertooth

Type: Jet fighter-attack


Status: Operational

Country: United States of America

Service: U.S. Air Force

Designation: AF-86M Sabretooth


Given the small size of this image, let's consider it more like a draft than anything... but anyway. There's been a discussion going on on the Secret Projects Forum about a would-be attack proposal for an "AF-86", an attack variant with two engines. Well, this is my small contribution to the idea... Purely speculative and imaginary of course!!!

Viewers' comments:
  • "Sabertooth". . . Can't believe they never went for that one! (ElSqiubbonator)
  • No offense meant, but that is even uglier than the YF-93. (Dr-Whom)
  • Looks spiffy, but I do have my doubts.  Given the debacle with the Hawker Hunter at the time (ingestation of gun fumes into the engines causing a compressor stall - until blast disruptors were fitted to cure the problem) does make me doubt the position of the engine intakes relative to the guns. (kanyiko)

My comments:

As I did not really understand what kanyiko meant here, he has provided the following explanation:

"Well, the engines might be way in the back in typical A-10 fashion... but in the A-10, the cannon is below the fuselage, while the engines are on top.  In this 'Sabretooth', though, the engines and cannons are on the same line relative to one another. There are two different things that might happen separately or in conjunction:

1) Firing the 20-mm cannons might - and would* - disrupt the airflow around the fuselage.  This might lead to the airflow into the engines being disrupted, causing a compressor stall.

2) The cannon fumes might be ingested by the engines.  This too could lead to a compressor stall.

During Project Gun-Val (the secret tests of 20-mm equipped F-86Fs during the Korean War), it was noted that the considerably more forceful blast of the 20-mm cannons disrupted the airflow around the nose.  Despite the fact the cannons were fitted aft of the nose intake, the blast wave was powerful enough to disrupt the airflow into the nose intake - leading to - indeed - compressor stalls.  If the blast wave was powerful enough to disrupt the airflow into the intake fitted in front of the guns... one could wonder what would have happened if the engines were fitted aft of the guns.

Project Gun-Val test footage about cannon installation and blast wave disruption/cannon-induced compressor stall."

Thanks to kanyiko for providing this very interesting and technically challenging analysis!