YRF-84F Thunderflash Second Prototype

The second Thunderflash prototype, serial number 51-1828, and designated YRF-84F, appears to be an enigma, as it is serial numbered at the end of an F-84F production run, and at the beginning of an RF-84F production run. So, the question I have is, why was it fitted with a Thunderjet type canopy rather than the Thunderstreak type canopy? Otherwise, it was very much like the production Thunderflash aircraft, with essentially the same intake arrangement, and only slight contour differences in the nose, the most noticable being a rounded shape where the nose camera would be housed, and, of course, the flight test probe protruding from just above center of the nose.

Among other tasks, this aircraft served duty for pitch-up testing with NACA, later NASA, for over two years in the mid 50s. However, the photo below, courtesy of Bob Young, bears an indication that it is a NASA photo taken in 1965. At this time, the discrepancy in dates is unresolved.

Identification Features:
Swept wings and tail, bubble canopy, rounded nose with data probe, wing-root intakes.


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The YRF-84F in flight. Photo courtesy of Greg Spahr.

The YRF-84F at Dryden Flight Research Center. Photo courtesy of Bob Young.

The YRF-84F at Edwards AFB. Photo courtesy of Raymond L. Puffer.

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