McDonnell VF85  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.  (NMUSAF)

Click on thumbnails below to view larger images.   Photos by Mark Young.

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