North American F-86F-1 (Second Generation) Sabre
from AlphaSim 

A review by Nigel C Martin
January 2008


I am not sure about you, but I remember watching on television as a young lad, this most majestic ‘new’ generation interceptor ruling the sky’s in several films set around the Korean War period. I remember at the time thinking it looked ‘right’ and boy did it!

There really is so much info about this ‘steed’ so I will not offer reams of rhetoric, but, worthy of mention, believe it or not, this beauty was developed in the late 1940’s providing awesome additional performance than the prop driven aircraft that preceded it. It has to said, the Spitfire, Hurricane and Mustang during the war years proved to be formidable, but the introduction of new technologies meant the heralding of the new propulsion system, the jet.

Sir Frank Whittle, then a young RAF Engineering Officer Cadet, a slight man with incredible foresight while at Cranwell RAF Staff College developed the Jet engine, the first tentative steps has left an incredible legacy.

Let us not forget, the period the Sabre became ‘famous’ during the Korean conflict, where it performed devastatingly well, but I have to mention the outstanding performance of the Fleet Air Arm Hawker Sea Fury which proved such an match against the Korean Mig’s, (The first downed Mig was claimed by a Sea Fury) as did the ‘Mig Killer’ the Sabre.

As you would imagine there have been a fair few versions of the Sabre, USAF service:- F-86A through F-86D, F-86 E through F-86L and Sabres serving in the US Navy, these were FJ-2 Fury’s.

Many other Countries have made use of these most beautiful fighters of the skies, namely, the Canadians Australians and Fujian Air Forces.

There were 9,860 Sabres built across all variants, some of which are still flying in private hands today, and be shown off, and justly so at many Air shows.


Well in my case there was not any, it was a download..


I found the entire process effortless, this being the fourth commercial aircraft package downloaded. I am getting quite a ‘taste’ for this process. Just pay and get instant access. Remember to back-up your new Zip file, I know from EXPERIENCE how wonderfully stable our computers are….

The file is a healthy 42,206mb so in my simple logic, the size of the file indicates the potential of great things to come.

Once the installation process has been completed, which in my case was again effortless, you will find the aircraft within the Aircraft file under I ALPHA Sabre, select and opt for one of the two ( One clean the other with wing tanks) versions on offer, and press ‘fly’ wait for the computer to update, hey presto there it is. And I must say, you will not be disappointed!


Once installed, let’s take a look at the exterior of this steed. Go for a ‘walk’ around. After selecting one of the options, I selected the wing tank offering.

Take time to have a good look around, the detail is absolutely fabulous and clear to see, I adore the ‘weathered’ effect, very noticeable on the fuselage stencilling and cannon smoke trailing back from just behind the nose. The feeling of accuracy and authenticity is excellent. What can let down an aircraft which is all unpainted aluminium is the panel line and colour differential, not here they get top marks all round.


Let’s start from the best place, ground up. All points of the exterior are displayed to the same exemplary standards. It is obvious that some considerable amount of work has gone into this model. The detail of the stencilling and weathering, or wear, on all surfaces is quite frankly stunning.

As I have mentioned above, the undercarriage detail has attained a suburb standard. The tyres and metal work have very obviously been ‘worked’ and we can see the very pleasing result.

Worthy of note is the nose wheel, note the folded undercarriage door, that in the folding sequence folds (also the main gear) beautifully smoothly.

All moving parts are extremely convincing and seemly accurate, towards the rear, seek out the detail of the air brakes beautifully done. The reverse side of the brake (once deployed) is excellent too, the pistons are clearly on show.

Staying with moving elements, the canopy, (select Shift + E) and you will note an accurate sliding back and forth motion. The pilot figure is well defined, with a head movement that is in fact believable. With careful attention, you will note his head moves in the direction of control surface input. A nice touch may have been the oxygen mask being removed with the canopy being opened and or at engine shut down. But the detail of this fine chap is very nice indeed.

While looking down into the cockpit, I have to mention the outstanding attention to detail of the entire cockpit area, the colours seem spot-on, and explosive elements in the plexiglass canopy can be seen. All the ‘lumps and bumps’ look great.

Take note, and look out for the ‘puffs’ of smoke that emanates from the engine as it comes to life. A very nice and accurate touch.

Lighting, well, an aircraft of the 40/50’s did not have super bright strobes, but what it does have are very realistic nav lights on the wing tips and white light to the rear. BUT I must make a special mention to the rather ‘natty’ landing lights (two) that fold forward form the fuselage into the airflow lighting up the runway in front.

At night the exterior lighting is very accurate. Hop back into the cockpit, and again the instrument lighting also subtle, you can read the gauges without strain. The effect works very well. For some reason when I selected virtual cockpit I got no interior lighting..? I also switched to Dusk conditions, with the same effect.

No mention of the sound, the ‘Keen of eye’ will have noted, why? No good? Enter the world of mediocrity? Oh my word no, the sound package is quite simply brilliant. The start up phase shut down, full military power cruise, wherever you place the throttle the beautiful sound hits you. If you listen very carefully, you can detect a slight looping, but hardly noticeable. A smashing job. The sounds are just getting better and better…


This product provides you with 2D and 3D option’s, having clear primary instruments on show.

The 3-D option, it has to said is very well laid out with the instruments reasonably clear and accurate, the interactive console to the left and right can be accessed easily. (via buttons towards the lower part of the panel) When you place your curser above some of the switches a line of text appears to remind you what they are, before you switch it on or off! Ok, some of the interior in parts ( in 3 D mode only) could have been more detailed, the canopy surrounds, and some areas of the interior fuselage, but, the detail on offer is not detrimental to the overall effect.


As mentioned the interactive switches can be found left and right of the pilots position, ie side panels. There are a number of interactive and switchblade switches on offer, enhancing the offering.

The above fast access buttons will provide very clear Coms and Nav instruments, and ‘tuther’, others the auto pilot option. This facility made both nav and coms a dream to adjust.


Now this is the part the programme is all about. Activate all the main electrical bus systems, nav lights active, select start,. As mentioned, MAKE sure you ‘pop’ out and look at the start sequence. I just love that ‘puff’ of smoke on start.

Steer the Sabre along the Taxiway, (good proportional response to input, but note, at the right speeds).. That done, line up, flaps selected all pre take off checks complete, NOW THE FUN! Select full power in increments, and you are hurtling down the runway, a quick eye on the speed V1 passed, VR approx 95 knots, lift the nose, rotate at 140 Kts,(ish) positive rate of climb, Gear up flaps up, up and away Tonto!

Now let’s look for some fun! You will note, that if you try and lift the nose before the critical speed it will not budge. The nose is on the ground as if it was glued down, until the magic speed is reached.

I would like to think this is a characteristic of the real aircraft, with the obvious attention to detail in this model else where, I guess it will be.

I have to admit to the rather frequent use of the very effective speed brakes on more that a few occasions, they are such a chunk of metal being pressed into the slipstream, the effectiveness is guaranteed.

You know, you need to get up high and have a real play, it is great fun. You must take a regular look outside the aircraft in flight, it really does look very impressive, And purposeful.

The usual inputs I found again proportionate, and I would imagine accurate, I have absolutely no idea what is accurate, and what is not, but it feels right.

As I mentioned, I was flying the Sabre with under wing tanks, you have the option to jettison these in flight, again a nice touch, done just before you join a ‘aerial battle’.

Having selected the airfield, flaps down, gear down three greens, there are the approach lights lined up sink rate good, speed right, flare the nose, we are down, speed brakes selected, gentle brake inputs, and slowed enough to turn off the active.

Canopy open, a deep breath of fresh air, and a gentle taxi to the hold. Brake on, power down. Fantastic...

This is a classic fighter, one of the first fighting fast jets.

As you can probably tell, I love the Sabre it has always been favourite of mine, now I have one!



Make no mistake if you like the Sabre, you will love this, the graphic and sound, and general detail is up there at the top of the pile. As mentioned it is effortless to download and install access and fly.

On reflection, there were not any major points of concern, perhaps the detail in the 3D option could have had more detail, (I found it in some places a little blocky’) commensurate with the detail so evident every where else, also when jettisoning the wing tanks, I did not see them tumble off. They just disappeared of the wings, bit of a shame, that would have been brilliant, to see those dropping off, now that would have been the icing on the cake if you wish!

I love the Sabre, clean lines, fast, and agile.

On balance, the offering is priced at £13.95 $27.27 represents good value, if you love the Sabre, this is a must for you.


Have Fun,…Onwards and Upwards..
Nigel C Martin

    My review machine specs: AlphSim Sabre Links:

   AMD64X2 Dual Core processor 3800+

   4x 512Mb DDR2 667Mhz PC5400

   Nvidia Geforce 7900GT
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