CAC Avon Sabre A94-974

Avon Sabre

Avon Sabre A97-974 (the Australian built variant of North American F-86 Sabre) was built by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, Fisherman's Bend, Victoria, and delivered to the RAAF on 27th August 1957. The aircraft was allocated to 78 Wing stationed at RAAF Base, Williamtown, NSW, in Dec 1957 as a replacement aircraft for A94-940.

In Dec 1958 the Sabre was flown to RAAF Base Butterworth, Malaysia, as part of Operation Sabre Ferry. A94-974 flew in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand while based in S.E. Asia and returned to Australia in Jan 1968.

    After undergoing a total overhaul and rewiring program, A94-974 was placed in service with No 5 Operational Conversion Unit as a lead-in aircraft for the Mirage III fighter. One year later the Sabre was allocated to the RAAF Base, Wagga Wagga, and underwent conversion to "training aid" status.

In Feb 1978 A94-974 was re-allocated to No 12 Sqn, RAAF Amberley, Qld, for use as an external load training aid for their Chinook helicopters until struck off RAAF charge on 1st Aug 1984.

A94-974 was purchased by Bob Jarrett through public tender in March 1985 and transported to South Australia for restoration and repainting in No 3 Sqn colours as used in Malaysia.

    For three years prior to the opening of Classic Jets Fighter Museum, Avon Sabre A94-974 was utilised by the TAFE Aviation College at Parafield as a training airframe for its students. Its airframe is in good condition and is suitable for further restoration for returning to flying status.


The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation built 218 Avon engines under licence to Rolls Royce. The Avons were developed to fit both the English Electric Canberra and the CAC Avon Sabre, then in service with the RAAF.

The Avon Mk 26 axial flow turbojet was rated at 7,500 lb thrust at sea level. The 2,460lb engines featured a 12 stage axial compressor, 8 combustion chambers and a 2 stage turbine

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