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Hobbycraft has released a series of three 1/144-scale models of Convair B-36s. They include an early B-36B, a later B-36D/RB-36H, and the FICON GRB-36D flying aircraft carrier conversion with a Republic RF-84K Thunderflash parasite reconaissance plane.
Since my article about Project FICON is being published in the Journal of the American Aviation Historical Society, I chose to build and review the FICON kit.
My review of the kit is divided into three parts:
Part 1: Republic RF-84K Thunderflash and McDonnell XF-85 Goblin
Part 2: Building the GRB-36D
Part 3: Completed GRB-36D, 49-2694 and RF-84K, 52-7258
I provided the photographs to Hobbycraft that were used to to create the box cover art. I also provided color illustrations of the RF-84K.
My name appears on the back of each box.
More Hobbycraft B-36 kit reviews:
Patrick Hawkey built the B-36D
Warpcore.org review of B-36D
Rollmodels.net review of unbuilt FICON GRB-36D kit
Richard Marmo reviewed the Hobbycraft B-36B and B-36D/RB-36H kits for Scaleworld.
Ken Duffy converted a Mongram 1/72-scale RB-36H kit into a GRB-36D.
eBook editions of Flying Aircraft Carriers of the USAF
My books in the Flying Aircraft Carriers of the USAF series are now available as eBooks, at a considerably reduced price compared to the print editions. Following World War II, the US Air Force was faced with the need to extend the range of fighter escorts for bomber airplanes. Several programs explored the feasibility of carrying, launching, and retrieving jet fighters from Convair B-36 bombers.
In 1948 and 1949, the Air Force tested the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin, which was intended to fit inside the bomb bay of the B-36, in a series of launches from a modified Boeing B-29 Superfortress.
From 1949 to 1956, the Air Force explored wing tip coupling, attaching smaller airplanes to the wing tips of larger airplanes, first with a Culver PQ-14 coupled to a Douglas C-47 Skytrain, then with a pair of Republic F-84E Thunderjets coupled to a Boeing B-29 Superfortress, and concluding with tests of Republic RF-84F Thunderflashes coupled to the wing tip of a Convair B-36.
From 1952 to 1956, Project FICON (Fighter Conveyer) evaluated carrying Republic F-84s partially enclosed in the bomb bay of a B-36, concluding with the establishment of squadrons of modified Republic RF-84F Thunderflashes and Convair B-36s in Washington State.
Each volume is profusely illustrated with vintage photographs and diagrams. They can be dowloaded directly from Lulu.com.
You can buy a 2017 calendar featuring historic Air Force and Convair photographs of Project FICON Convair GRB-36 carrier aircraft and Republic F-84 parasites.
A dozen Air Force and Convair photographs of Project FICON Convair GRB-36 carrier aircraft and Republic F-84 parasites from 1952 to 1956:
Convair GRB-36F 49-2707 and Republic F-84E Thunderjet 49-2115 at Forth Worth, Texas and Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
Convair GRB-36F 49-2707 and Republic YRF-84F Thunderstreak 49-2430 at Fort Worth, Texas and Dayton, Ohio
Convair GRB-36D 49-2962 and Republic RBF-84F Thunderflash 52-7266 over Washington State
Convair GRB-36D 49-2694 and Republic RF-84K Thunderflash 52-7258 at Edwards Air Force Base, California
Put a copy of the Project FICON - Fighter Conveyer: 2017 calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $14.95.
Books about Project FICON
Visit the Lockett Books Amazon Webstore for a selection of aviation and space related books and DVDs.
Send a message to Brian.