The XF-88 was designed to fill a USAF requirement for a "Penetration Fighter," a new class of aircraft for long-range escort of USAF bombers. Two XF-88s were ordered (S/N 46-525, 526) in 1946 and the first flight was on Oct. 29, 1948. The XF-88 was underpowered, and the second aircraft was modified to the XF-88A by adding afterburning engines, which increased its maximum speed to approximately 700 mph. The XF-88A design was used as the basis for the F-101 Voodoo.
The original XF-88 was modified to XF-88B with the addition of afterburning turbojets and an Allison XT-38A turboprop. The turboprop engine was added to test the feasibility of extending the cruising range of a fighter aircraft. This arrangement, like the XF-81, proved impractical and was never adopted for production.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Engines: Two Westinghouse J34-WE-13 turbojets of 3,000 lbs. thrust each Armament: Designed for six 20mm cannons Maximum speed: 641 mph Range: 1,737 miles with 734 gallons in internal fuel tanks and two 350 gallon external fuel tip tanks Service ceiling: 36,000 ft. Span: 39 ft. 8 in. Length: 54 ft. 2 in. Height: 17 ft. 3 in. Weight: 18,500 lbs. loaded Crew: One