McDonnell XF-85 Goblin
The XF-85 parasite aircraft was
developed to protect B-36 bombers flying beyond the range of conventional
escort fighters. In theory, a B-36 penetrating enemy territory would carry
its protecting fighter in the bomb bay. If attacked by enemy aircraft, the
bomber would lower the Goblin on a trapeze and release it to combat the
attackers. After the enemy had been driven away, the parasite fighter
would return to the bomber, hook onto the trapeze, fold its wings, and be
lifted back into the bomb bay. Although the XF-85 was successfully
launched and flown from an EB-29B on several test flights, it was never
successfully recovered in flight or flown from a B-36. The test program
was cancelled in late 1949 when mid-air refuelling of fighter aircraft for
range extension began to show greater promise.
Two Goblins were built. Flight of the
No. 1 aircraft was delayed by ground test damage, so on August 23, 1948,
the No. 2 aircraft (S/N 46-524) made the first flight. The XF-85 on
display (S/N 46-523), the first Goblin built, made its first and only
flight on April 8, 1949. It was transferred to the USAF Museum on August
23, 1950 after cancellation of the XF-85 program.
Span: 21 ft. 1 in.
Length: 14 ft. 1 in.
Height: 8 ft. 3 in.
Weight: 4,550 lbs.
Armament: Four .50-cal. machine guns
Engine: One Westinghouse XJ-34 of 3,000 lbs. thrust
Maximum speed: 650 mph.
Combat speed: 581 mph.
Maximum endurance: 1 hr. 20 min.
Combat Ceiling: 46,750 ft.