Aircraft Wingtip Coupling Experiments

The F-84 series was used for a number of experimental test programs. Some of the more unusual of these test programs, in the times of long-range bombers and short-range early jet fighters, was the variety of methods tested wherein a "parasite" fighter was carried by a "host" bomber. The intent was to provide fighter protection for the bomber, or, in the case of recon missions, to extend the range and speed of the mission at its destination.

One of these experimental test programs involved wingtip coupling, wherein the wing of the fighter was coupled to the wing of the bomber, and was towed to and from the destination by the bomber. Republic was contracted to undertake the experiments with two F-84Ds and a B-29, which program came to be known as "Tip-Tow." Major Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson piloted the right-hand F-84D during these tests, and some years later, prepared a paper about the tests. That paper, entitled Aircraft Wingtip Coupling Experiments, was published by the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and later reproduced in Aerophile magazine, Volume 2 Number 4. The Society of Experimental Test Pilots courteously provided a copy of their article as published which is reproduced here with their permission.

At this time, the photos and illustrations referenced in the article are not available.

For more information, see also C.E. "Bud" Anderson's web site.


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