Published November 06, 2015
DAYTON, Ohio -- Republic YRF-84F Ficon at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Restoration staff move the Republic YRF-84F Ficon into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
Republic YRF-84F FICON in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on December 28, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Convair GRB-36F in flight with Republic YRF-84F (S/N 49-2430). (U.S. Air Force photo)
The museum’s aircraft is pictured here as the F-84F prototype. In this configuration, it was originally called the YF-96A, but later redesignated the YF-84F. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The YRF-84F flying underneath its B-36 carrier aircraft. FICON modifications included installing a hook in front of the cockpit and turning down the horizontal tail so it could partially fit into the B-36 bomb bay. (U.S. Air Force photo)
View of the YRF-84F from inside the B-36 -- the pilot could enter and exit the cockpit from within the bomber. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Please note: This aircraft is in storage.
The museum’s YRF-84F participated in two U.S. Air Force experimental programs, the development of the F-84F fighter-bomber and later testing of the “parasite” fighter concept.
The museum’s YRF-84F was the prototype of the F-84F Thunderstreak, which became a standard USAF fighter-bomber in the 1950s (an F-84F is on display in the museum's Cold War Gallery). Consisting of an F-84E Thunderjet fuselage with swept-back wings and tail, it made its initial flight in June 1950.
In 1951 it was modified into the YRF-84F FICON ("FIghter CONveyor"), and first flew in this configuration in March 1953. The concept envisioned carrying a “parasite” aircraft under (and partially enclosed within) a B-36 as a way to extend fighter range. When needed, the fighter was lowered on a boom and released to protect the bomber or to conduct reconnaissance or bombing missions on its own. After completing its mission, the fighter would return to the B-36 (a B-36 is on display in the museum's Cold War Gallery).
The U.S. Air Force employed FICON aircraft operationally for a brief period in the mid-1950s with RF-84Ks (an RF-84K is on display in the museum's Cold War Gallery). By the late 1950s, however, the successful development of mid-air refueling ended the use of parasite fighters.
Engine: Allison J35-A-25 jet engine of 5,200 lbs. thrust
Maximum speed: 670 mph
Range: 1,800 miles
Service ceiling: 45,000 feet
Click here to return to the Research & Development Gallery.
Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)