The FICON system saw limited service with Strategic Air Command in 1955-1956. The GRB-36D carriers from 99th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (Fairchild AFB) operated in conjunction with RF-84K from 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (Larson AFB).
Subsequent test flights demonstrated the FICON concept was indeed "tactically sound," but its operational implementation was difficult. A total of 10 GRB-36Ds and 25 RF-84Ks were built and saw limited service in 1955–1956. Hookups with the carrier aircraft were challenging for the experienced test pilots under ideal conditions. In combat or in adverse weather, and by less-experienced pilots, they proved difficult, and several RF-84Ks were damaged attempting it. In addition, the RF-84 dramatically reduced the bomber's ground clearance: with 450 gallon (1,700 liter) external tanks on the fighter, the FICON combination cleared by a mere six inches (15 cm). These adversities, combined with the advent of Lockheed U-2 and passing of the B-36 into obsolescence, resulted in cancellation of the project in 1956, with the last FICON flight taking place on 27 April.
Upon cancellation, some RF-84Ks were scrapped, but others operated as reconnaissance aircraft with retractable hook apparatus still in place. Only three survive; one at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, one at Planes of Fame "Static Lot" in Chino, California and one at the Wings Over the Rockies Airspace Museum in Denver Colorado. (Wikipedia)
BLENDER 3D model.