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Republic YRF-84F "FICON"

Republic YRF-84F


The YRF-84F was the prototype of the standard USAF F-84F "Thunderstreak." Originally designated the YF-96A, it consisted of an F-84E "Thunderjet" fuselage with swept-back wings and tail. As the YF-96A, it made its initial flight on June 3, 1950.

During the early 1950s, the Air Force decided to conduct experiments on the feasibility of B-36's carrying fighter aircraft suspended under their bellies. This would not only provide the bomber with its own fighter protection, but would make it possible for the bomber to carry the fighter long distances to a combat zone. Upon reaching the edge of the enemy's territory, the fighter would be released to conduct reconnaissance or bombing missions on its own.

The YF-96A redesignated the YRF-84F "FICON" (which is a contraction of "Fighter" and "Conveyer") was designed so that it could be carried by a B-36. As the FICON, it made its first flight on March 30, 1953. However, subsequent development of mid-air refueling for range extension of fighter aircraft proved so successful that experiments with parasite fighters were discontinued.

SPECIFICATIONS
Span: 33 ft. 7 in.
Length: 42 ft. 11 in.
Height: 14 ft. 4 in.
Armament: Four .50 cal. machine guns.
Engine: Allison J35-A-25 jet engine of 5,200 lbs. thrust.
Crew: One
Serial number: 49-2430

PERFORMANCE
Maximum speed: 670 mph.
Cruising speed: 600 mph.
Range: 1,800 miles
Service Ceiling: 45,000 ft.

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