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Posted 6/26/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
Convair GRB-36F and Republic YRF-84F
Convair GRB-36F in flight with Republic YRF-84F (S/N 49-2430). (U.S. Air Force photo)
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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.

The single GRB-36F (or YRB-36F) was modified from RB-36F S/N 49-2707. This aircraft was the prototype for the fighter conveyor program. Ten additional aircraft were converted for use as fighter conveyors, but all were modified from RB-36Ds.

Type Number built/
GRB-36F 1 (cv) RB-36F modified to carry YRF-84F

Armament: Two 20mm cannons in the tail plus an air-launchable Republic YRF-84F
Engines: Six Pratt & Whitney R-4360-53 radials of 3,800 hp each (takeoff power) and four General Electric J47-GE-19 turbojets of 5,200 lbs. thrust each
Maximum speed: Approx. 400 mph
Cruising speed: Approx. 200 mph
Span: 230 ft. 0 in.
Length: 162 ft. 1 in.
Height: 46 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 357,500 lbs. (maximum gross weight)
Crew: 19
Serial number: 49-2707

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