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Early testing had been done at Edwards AFB, California in October 1950 then Malton, Ontario on an F-86A pulled off North American's assembly line and re-engined with an Orenda. Redesignated as an F-86J, it had stellar performance but serious overheating issues. The J47 engine was eventually put back into it and, after quite some time as a hangar queen in Malton, was flown on February 11, 1954 by Bob Christie down to Brookley AFB in Mobile, Alabama to be scrapped.

In 1952 Dick Richmond, Chief Developmental Engineer at Canadair, was asked the feasibility of installing the Orenda in the F-86. After having his team of aerodynamicists study the problem, they recommended full scale testing based on the required major structural changes to the fuselage air-intake duct and engine nose cone. Mr. Lewis Chow, Chief Experimental Engineer, went down to the Orenda Engine Test Facility in Malton, Ontario bringing with him six experimental engine nose cones and a new fuselage air-intake duct. North American Aviation had already said it couldn't be done. But, although the Orenda engine was bigger, this modification could save both time and money for the company and resolve the overheating issues. It took a lot longer then anticipated. A total of almost four months of day and night testing under Mr. Bert Scott of Orenda and Mr. Lewis Chow of Canadair, proved that the reconfigured air-intake duct and new engine nose cone would permit better airflow and more air into the Orenda engine allowing it to develop full power under all flying conditions. These changes have been used on all Orenda powered Sabres since.

On June 14, 1952 Glendon Lynes took the 100th Canadair Sabre Mark 2, s/n 19200, up for its first flight. Another eleven flights followed before the J47 engine was pulled and an Orenda 3 engine of 6000 lbs. thrust installed. It was flown on September 25, 1952 by W.S. (Bill) Longhurst, now as a Mark 3 Sabre. The aircraft was really an experimental aircraft and unique in that it had no armament. Even the gunports in the nose were absent. It had no markings on it with the exception of the serial number over the letters 'E.O.P' (Experimental Orenda Prototype) on the tail.

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