Republic YRF-84F FICON By 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. TECHNICAL NOTES: 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. Find Out More Related Fact Sheets Convair B-36J Peacemaker Republic F-84F Thunderstreak Republic F-84E Thunderjet Republic RF-84K Thunderflash Allison J35-A-35A Turbojet Engine Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.