The XF-85 Goblin was an attempt by the McDonnell bureau to realize the dream of a "parasite fighter" program that was actually feasible for use in a wartime environment. The basic theory revolving the parasite fighter was not a new one for development of such a fighter was already attempted by German scientists during the Second World War. Nevertheless, the XF-85 Goblin was - at least in the eyes of McDonnell engineers - to be the first successful attempt, though in practice the retrieval process proved to be too impractical and the program was therefore limited to just two prototypes and fully scrubbed.
The XF-85 featured a most basic aerodynamically friendly design with very little in the way of external features. The system featured the post-war development of swept back wings (pioneered by the Germans throughout World War Two) and were of 37 degrees sweep. The Goblin was to be air dropped from a bomber, fly to and engage targets as needed, then return to the bomber by meeting up with the bomber's retractable hook and trapeze combination. Should an emergency had arisen for the diminutive Goblin, a steel skid was installed underfuselage (along with runners at the wingtips for additional landing support) for emergency landings. Armament for the XP-85 consisted of a 4 x 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine gun array. Crew accommodations amounted to a single pilot. Power was derived from a single J34 type turbojet mounted at rear with a noticeable intake front of the fuselage. The first flight of the XF-85 Goblin prototype occurred on August 23rd of 1948.
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