“What Might Have Been” – The XF-85 Goblin – PHOTO TOUR

GoblinKEYIMAGEWARBIRD RADIO – It’s part James Bond with a dash of Star Wars thrown in for good measure, but at the end of the day…it’s still the Goblin.  The XF-85 Goblin is one of the most recognized experimental airplanes the United States Air Force ever tested.  Our “What Might Have Been” series wouldn’t be complete without it.

Here’s what the National Museum of the United States Air Force has to say about the one and only 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 retrieved from an EB-29B on several test flights, it was never flown from a B-36. The test program was canceled in late 1949 when mid-air refueling of fighter aircraft for range extension began to show greater promise.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force has the first XF-85 built on display in its Cold War Gallery.

TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Four .50-cal. machine guns Engine: One Westinghouse XJ-34 turbojet of 3,000 lbs thrust Maximum speed: 650 mph Combat speed: 581 mph Maximum endurance: 1 hr. 20 min. Combat ceiling: 46,750 ft. Span: 21 ft. 1 in. Length: 14 ft. 1 in. Height: 8 ft. 3 in. Weight: 4,550 lbs. Crew: One



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