Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA4318 F-86F Sabre “Blue Impulse” 02-7960, JASDF. Buy online from Flying Tigers.
The CAC prototype Sabre (CA-26) first flew on August 3, 1953. The production aircraft were designated the CA-27 Sabre with first deliveries to the Royal Australian Air Force beginning in 1954 powered by an Avon 20 engine and these were designated Sabre Mk 30. In 1957 and 1958 these aircraft had their wing slats removed and became Sabre Mk. 31. The last 69 aircraft to be produced had the new Avon 26 engine and were designated Mk. 32. In the mid 1960s the Mirage III began to replace the Sabres.
Japan received the first Sabres in December 1955 and over time was equipped with 180 US built and 300 Mitsubishi built F-86Fs. On March 4, 1960 the new F-86F aerobatic team “Tenryu” performed it first demonstration at Hamamatsu Air Base. Westerners found the name “Tenryu” difficult to pronounce so the name was changed to “Blue Impulse”. F-86F 02-7960 was assembled by Mitsubishi and flew with the “Blue Impulse” from 1965 until 1981 when the F-86F was retired for the Mitsubishi T-2. 02-7960 is on display at the JASDF Museum at Hamamatsu.