YF-96A Thunderstreak First Prototype

The YF-96A was made from an F-84E fuselage, serial number 49-2430, with swept wings added. The intent was to use up to 60% of the parts from the Thunderjet, add the swept wings, and gain 100 mph speed. The engine used in this "first" YF-84F was the Allison XJ35-A-25 rated at 5,300 lb. thrust. The change was only partially successful, and the decision to use a larger more powerful engine lead to the second prototype which had the fuselage deepened by seven inches (some sources state six inches) to accomodate the more bulky XJ-65-B-3 engine. Financial maneuvering and politics on the part of both Congress and the military led to the XF-84F designation being changed to YP-96A then back to YF-84F in a matter of a few months. Further, although Republic argued that what became the F-model should logically have been the G-, and the G- should have been the F-, the political machine, based on the fact that the G-model was a stopgap for the "late" Thunderstreak, decided otherwise. Complicating the designations were the two RF-84F protypes and their YRF-84F designation, which designation has at times been applied to this aircraft. Although the USAF Museum indicates this aircraft later "became the YRF-84F FICON," other sources indicate it was designated either as "YRF-84K" or "YRF-841K." Because the active duty FICON aircraft were modified RF-84F -- with nose bay converted to house the retractable "skyhook," and with anhedral tailplane -- and redesignated RF-84K, it seems logical to me that the correct designation is YRF-84K. Therefore, herein I use the YRF-84K classification for after this aircraft was modified with flat windscreen, FICON testing hook installed, and horizontal stabilizers converted to 26 degrees anhedral. Interestingly, this is another area of disagreement, as some sources state 23 degrees, and one states 45 degrees; this source does not indicate whether the 45 degrees is from horizontal or the included angle (22-1/2 degrees from horizontal which would be about 23 degrees). I don't know which is right.

Identification Features:
F-84E fuselage, long flight probe centered on nose splitter, bubble canopy without bracing tapes, swept wings and tail.


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YF-96A, Photo courtesy of E.J. Boss.

YF-96A, Photo courtesy of E.J. Boss.

YF-96A , Photo courtesy of E.J. Boss.



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YF-96A, Photo courtesy of E.J. Boss.

YF-96A, Republic Poster. Poster courtesy of Michael Bradley.

YF-96A, cigarette card. Image courtesy of Guido Van Roy.

Links to photos at other sites

USAF Museum YF-96A -- Page
USAF Museum YF-96A -- Photo

Contents Copyright Bruce Craig -- All Rights Reserved


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