FICON, Parasite Fighter, Tip-Toe and Tom-Tom programs

Steve Pace

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Does anyone have any pertinent information and/or photographs related to these programs?
 

Triton

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Convair B-36 parasite system

Rosenberg, H W and Klegka, W E Description of Parasite System Utilizing Convair B-36 Carrier
General Dynamics Fort Worth Division Convair Aerospace Division
August 01, 1954

Abstract:
This document presents a description of a basic parasite system using a Convair B-36 type aircraft equipped as the carrier. The parasite airplane is suspended by a trapeze installed in the B-36 bomb bay. The trapeze is designed to support, launch, and retrieve the parasite during flight, and provides parasite support during carrier take-off and landing.

NOTE: Original document is in poor condition and technical drawing are mostly illegible.

Handle / proxy Url: http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/AD052997
 

Orionblamblam

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

Triton said:
NOTE: Original document is in poor condition and technical drawing are mostly illegible.

I've seen worse. *Lots* worse. Still, they're a mess. I'll patch the best of 'em together best I can and post 'em.
 

Orionblamblam

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

Here's some:
 

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Justo Miranda

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

I have found this info...post-1
 

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Justo Miranda

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

I have found this info...post-2
 

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Justo Miranda

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

I have found this info...post-3
 

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Justo Miranda

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

I have found this info...post-4
 

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Triton

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

Doh! I had seen pictures of the B-29 with the Wobbly Goblin, but had never seen the B-36 used as an a parasite aircraft carrier. Thought it was an unbuilt project. Should this topic be moved to "Aerospace"?
 

Mike OTDP

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

Nope. The FICON was quite real. The USAF never did quite figure out why they were having problems hooking on. The Navy's experience with USS Akron/USS Macon and the F9C was that hooking onto a trapeze was easy.
 

airrocket

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

Cool...would like to learn more about the 31st century parasites. More on B-36 here

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3842.0/highlight,b-36+parasite.html
 

AeroFranz

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

Mike OTDP said:
Nope. The FICON was quite real. The USAF never did quite figure out why they were having problems hooking on. The Navy's experience with USS Akron/USS Macon and the F9C was that hooking onto a trapeze was easy.

In the case of the XF-85, it was supposedly turbulence, although Chuck Yeager had a poor opinion of the test pilot that was assigned to it and wrecked the plane.
 

Just call me Ray

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

Mike OTDP said:
Nope. The FICON was quite real. The USAF never did quite figure out why they were having problems hooking on. The Navy's experience with USS Akron/USS Macon and the F9C was that hooking onto a trapeze was easy.

I suppose it might have to do with the higher airspeeds experienced when trying to hook up to a B-36. That sucker was pretty fast for a large piston!
 

The Artist

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

airrocket said:
Cool...would like to learn more about the 31st century parasites. More on B-36 here

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3842.0/highlight,b-36+parasite.html

You'll have to wait about a thousand years, then maybe I can tell you something. ;D

Sorry, couldn't resist.
Mike
 

Steve Pace

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

AeroFranz said:
Mike OTDP said:
Nope. The FICON was quite real. The USAF never did quite figure out why they were having problems hooking on. The Navy's experience with USS Akron/USS Macon and the F9C was that hooking onto a trapeze was easy.

In the case of the XF-85, it was supposedly turbulence, although Chuck Yeager had a poor opinion of the test pilot that was assigned to it and wrecked the plane.

He [Ed Schoch] was a former USN aviator used to carrier landings (the proper choice in my eyes) but not experienced in in-flight aerial hook-ups in turbulance. Who was? Could Yeager have pulled it off?
 

Steve Pace

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

Here's better view of MONSTRO with an XF-85.
 

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sagallacci

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

Triton said:
D'Oh! I had seen pictures of the B-29 with the Wobbly Goblin, but had never seen the B-36 used as an a parasite aircraft carrier. Thought it was an unbuilt project. Should this topic be moved to "Aerospace"?

The B-29 was merely a test machine for the F-85 + B-36 combo, though with the failure of the F-85, no B-36 was ever fitted for it. The F-84 + B-36 was actually operational for a short time.
 

AeroFranz

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system


He [Ed Schoch] was a former USN aviator used to carrier landings (the proper choice in my eyes) but not experienced in in-flight aerial hook-ups in turbulance. Who was? Could Yeager have pulled it off?
[/quote]

Hard to say. Maybe it was just too hard. It's just that the environment below a large prop driven bomber flying slow is really turbulent. That might explain why the Sparrowhawk/Macon hookups were so much smoother.

I love his book, but Yeager (Hoover and a bunch of other test pilots too for that matter) is not exactly modest about his flying skills.
 

Justo Miranda

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

Edwin F. Schoch
 

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Justo Miranda

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

And the soviet version Myasishchev/Pokorzhevsky parasite fighter
 

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alfakilo

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

If there ever was an example of planning for the next war based on lessons from the last one, this parasite fighter is it. The decision makers who gave the green light to this idea must have been WW2 B-17 pilots in Europe prior to the introduction of the Mustang.
 

borovik

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

And the soviet version Myasishchev/Pokorzhevsky parasite fighter
more:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2080.0/
 

OM

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

Mike OTDP said:
Nope. The FICON was quite real. The USAF never did quite figure out why they were having problems hooking on. The Navy's experience with USS Akron/USS Macon and the F9C was that hooking onto a trapeze was easy.

...Then again, there's a significant amount of difference between operational airspeeds of a dirigible and a jet-assisted bomber. Simple wind tunnel testing should have revealed this right off the bat.
 

Rickshaw

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

OM said:
Mike OTDP said:
Nope. The FICON was quite real. The USAF never did quite figure out why they were having problems hooking on. The Navy's experience with USS Akron/USS Macon and the F9C was that hooking onto a trapeze was easy.

...Then again, there's a significant amount of difference between operational airspeeds of a dirigible and a jet-assisted bomber. Simple wind tunnel testing should have revealed this right off the bat.

Wind tunnel testing can take you only so far. I suspect the reason why the trapeze was so long on the F-85 system was to put the fighter well outside the worst of the turbulence around the bottom of the bomber. However, it wasn't perhaps long enough. My question is why was the F-84 experiments successful when the F-85's weren't? Could it have been the nature of the F-85 with its short, stubby fuselage which would have made control difficult which was the real problem, rather than necessarily the length of the trapeze or the turbulence itself?
 

alfakilo

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

The problem of getting the fighter back aboard the bomber is nothing compared to the bigger questions that confound this idea...such as (not in any particular order)...when and why is the fighter deployed, how does it find the bomber after engaging enemy fighters, did anyone try this at night or in reduced visibility, etc? Did they really think anyone was going to willingly accept this assignment?

For me, this has always been one of those ideas that I'm amazed that went as far as it did in terms of time and expense...it's right up there with the VTOL proposals of the same time period.
 

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

I'd guess that the likely mission invisioned would be something on the order of a one-way nuclear apocalyse. Though not often spoke of, an awful lot of the serious Cold War battle plans were in effect suicide missions (including defensive missions, use up your missiles, then ram, was the the expectation)
I suspect the F-85 was also simply an awful little handful.
 

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

A while back, I started a thread about an air-launched and recovered recon variant of Bell's X-1. Nothing more than a brief description exists of this project according to Jay Miller's X-1 monograph. Here's that thread:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5884.0/highlight,bell+x-1+recon.html

One has to wonder if the Goblin's shoddy performance was a factor in the recon X-1 remaining no more than an obscure proposal. I also wonder if the FICON F-84 system was perhaps chosen as the better system. I would think so.
 

iverson

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The store on the port inner pylon of the RF-84 appears to be a Mk.7 tactical nuclear bomb. Does anyone know if this was a planned operational configuration of the FICON RF-84?
 

Antonio

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Re: Convair B-36 parasite system

merged topics
 

Justo Miranda

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From http://www.clubhyper.com/forums/themepicsframe.htm
 

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circle-5

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Republic YRF-84K, left over from the FICON program, on a ramp at Chino airport, California, about 5 years ago.
 

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archipeppe

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Oh great§ Thanks circle-5, it is indeed still well preserved and it is also still possible to see the forward hook extended.
 

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I think there's one at the Wings Over The Rockies Museum here in Denver also.
 

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Another view of the YRF-84K. The airplane was just sitting there alone, with nobody and nothing else anywhere on the ramp.
 

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