The North American F-86 Sabre was manufactured from 1949 – 1956 and was America’s first swept-wing fighter. As well as being built in the U.S. variants were built in Canada and Australia bringing the total of all variants manufactured to 9,860 units. During the Korean War the Sabre arrived to take on the other swept-wing aircraft of the conflict, the MiG-15 Fagot. The Americans disputed.
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.