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USAF 4925 TG (A) Republic YRF-84F FICON


Model ID#:












H. Davidson

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historical significance

First Albuquerque Visit:    1954

SKU: Model-0245 Categories: ,

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The Republic F-84F Thunderstreak was a swept-wing turbojet-powered fighter-bomber built by Republic Aviation in 1948. The RF-84F Thunderflash was the photo reconnaissance version of the aircraft. The Republic YRF-84F participated in two U.S. Air Force experimental programs during the development of the F-84F fighter-bomber and later testing of the “parasite” fighter concept.

The FICON (Fighter Conveyor) program was conducted by the United States Air Force in the 1950s to test the feasibility of a Convair B-36 Peacemaker bomber carrying a Republic YRF-84F Thunderflash parasite fighter in its bomb bay. In 1951, the F-84F 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.

The U.S. Air Force employed FICON aircraft operationally for a brief period in the mid-1950s with RF-84Ks and by the late 1950s the successful development of mid-air refueling ended the need for parasite fighters. Upon cancellation, some RF-84Ks were scrapped, but others operated as reconnaissance aircraft with retractable hook apparatus still in place. Only three of the aircraft survive today with one at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, one at Planes of Fame “static lot” in Chino, California, and one at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver, Colorado.

The 4925th Test Group was a United States Air Force unit that was last assigned to the 4901st Support Wing (Atomic), at Kirtland Air Force Base, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Designated the 4925th Test Group (Atomic) on 1 July 1951, the unit was known as the “The Megaton Blasters”, and was responsible for the developmental flight testing of all USAF nuclear weapon delivery systems including conducting live test drops from 1951 through 1956. Following 1956 the 4925th focused on operational methods and equipment for delivering nuclear weapons. It was shut down on August 31, 1961 after it was inactivated by the Air Force Systems Command. The components of the 4925th’s mission were distributed among other units.

The Republic YRF-84F Thunderflash, 92430 and 92438, parasite fighters for the GRB-36J “Peacemaker” were assigned to the 4925th Test Group (A) at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque New Mexico from 1954 until 1955 for weapons suitability testing.