The Republic YF-96A (S/N 49-2430) was the early and brief designation
for what became the F-84F. The aircraft was built by
taking an F-84E fuselage and adding a sweptback wing and
tail assembly. The aircraft's first flight was on 3 June, 1950. The YF-96A, because of
its -E model fuselage, was powered by the Allison J35. Two additional prototypes were
built as XF-84Fs (S/N 51-1344 and 51-1345).
These aircraft had a 7" section spliced into the fuselage to make room for the larger
Wright J65 turbojet which also required a larger volume of intake air.
The YF-96A was later modified to test the feasibility of bomber aircraft carrying their own escort fighters in the bomb bay. The FICON (FIghter CONveyor) project never passed beyond the test phase because in-flight refueling proved more practical and efficient for long-range escort of bomber aircraft.
SPECIFICATIONS (as the YRF-84F)
Span: 33 ft. 7 in.
Length: 42 ft. 11 in.
Height: 14 ft. 4 in.
Armament: Designed for four .50-cal. machine guns
Engines: Allison J35-A-25 jet engine of 5,200 lbs. thrust.
This aircraft information is from the USAF Museum Archives.
The YF-96A which became the YRF-84F FICON
is on display in the Museum Research and Development Hangar.