On this day, September 2, 1953, Colonel J. Stanley Holtoner, USAF, flew a production North American Aviation F-86D-35-NA Sabre, serial number 51-6168, to a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Speed Record over a 100 kilometer course at Vandalia, Ohio, averaging 690.188mph.
Colonel Holtoner was the commanding officer of the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California. He was awarded the Thompson Trophy.
On the previous day, Captain Harold E. Collins flew another F-86D Sabre, 51-6145, setting an FAI World Speed Record over a 15 kilometer straight course of 707.878mph.
The North American Aviation, Inc. F-86D Sabre was an all-weather interceptor developed from North American Aviation F-86 fighter. It was the first single-seat interceptor, and it used a very sophisticated—for its time—electronic fire control system. It was equipped with search radar and armed with twenty-four unguided 2.75-inch Mk 4 Folding-Fin Aerial Rockets (FFAR) rockets carried in a retractable tray in its belly. The aircraft was so complex that the pilot training course was the longest of any aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory, including the Boeing B-47 Stratojet.