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Posted 10/30/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
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McDonnell XF-88
The first McDonnell XF-88 built (S/N 46-525). (U.S. Air Force photo)
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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.

Type Number built/
XF-88 2 Penetration fighter
XF-88A 1 (cv) Modified XF-88
XF-88B 1 (cv) Turboprop modification

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

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