Ten Insanely Strange Aircrafts That Actually Existed(With Pictures)

2. The XF -85 Goblin

Long range bomber aircraft were extremely crucial to the air force of any country and World War 2 proved that fact. Although bombers were good at carrying large payloads over long distances, they could not deal with enemy fighter aircraft. And escort fighters could not keep up with the ever increasing range of bombers. So countries like USA and the Soviet Union began to test the concept of parasite fighters. The idea was to carry these small fighters inside the large bombers. While flying through hostile territory the fighters could be detached from the bomber, fight off enemy airplanes, and then re-dock with the mother ship. However any experiment to build a successful parasite fighter failed. The McDonell X-85 was an attempt in the 1950’s by the US military to build a parasite fighter that could be docked inside a B-36 to defend it in missions over Soviet targets.

The Goblin is the smallest jet fighter aircraft ever created, with an egg shaped body that was only 15 feet in length. It’s one of the strange aircrafts that actually existed. It was equipped with four .50-caliber machine guns to make up for its unimpressive size. Initially, it was mounted inside the body of a B-29 to test its performance before using it in the B-36.The Goblin would be lowered by hooking the front end to a trapeze that could extend out of the bomber during flight. Detaching was not a problem, and the tiny aircraft handled wonderfully. However, the biggest problem was re-entry. The propeller wash from the B-29 would throw the Goblin around in the air, so attaching the hook to the trapeze was nearly impossible.

Only 3 out of 7 re-entry attempts succeeded, and in one case the airplane crashed into the trapeze, smashing the front fuselage and cockpit canopy. Since the designers had not provided any landing gear, the pilot somehow crash landed the plane on a dry lake bed. Other the re-entry problems, the Goblin’s tiny engine and limited firepower would put it at a huge disadvantage against Soviet fighter aircraft. Due to the docking issues and weak performance, the USAF eventually cancelled the Goblin program. Later they began to focus on long range refueling aircraft, a far more practical solution to the bomber escort problem.

-Wonderslist

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