A Brief History
On September 15, 1948, a North American F-86 Sabre flew at a world record 671 miles per hour. The Sabre was a superb aircraft and became the most produced jet fighter of all the Western countries with a production run of 9860 of all varieties.
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Today we ask you, our expert audience, to tell us which jet fighter deserves to be named as the Greatest of All Time. We list a few contenders, but you can name your own nominees as well.
North American F-86 Sabre, USA. Like its older brother, the P-51 Mustang, the Sabre was the premier fighter of its day, and also proved adaptable to many missions.
MiG-15, USSR, over 13,000 produced, probably the most prolific jet fighter of all.
McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, USA, only 1200 built, but in service since 1972. No F-15 has ever been shot down by another fighter despite scoring over 100 air to air victories.
McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, USA. Over 5000 built serving the US and its allies for 60 years as a record breaking speedster interceptor, air superiority fighter, fighter-bomber, recon platform, and Wild Weasel missions, making it uber-adaptable.
MiG-21, USSR. Well over 11,000 built as a lightweight Mach II fighter that was the main adversary of the Western Alliance during the last 30 years of the Cold War. Its production run time is exceeded only by the American F-15 and F-16.
Question for students (and subscribers): Which fighter jet do you rank #1? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Crosby, Francis. The World Encyclopedia of Fighter Aircraft: An Illustrated History from the Early Planes of World War I to the Supersonic Jets of Today. Lorenz Books, 2020.
Sharpe, Michael. Military Jet Aircraft: 300 of the World’s Greatest Military Aircraft. Amber Books, 2018.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by Roland Turner from Birmingham, Great Britain of a North American F-86A Sabre at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, USA, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
You can also watch video versions of this article on YouTube.