Convair F-102 Delta Dagger
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Convair F-102 Delta Dagger

The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger resulted from a 1950 USAF design competition for an integral all-weather interceptor weapon system. Combining the Hughes Falcon air-to-air missile, the delta wing platform first flown on the XF-92A, and the 4944kg thrust Pratt & Whitney J57-P-11 turbojet, the first of 10 YF-102s (52-7994/7995 and 53-1779/1786) flew at Edwards AFB, California, on 24 October 1953. The prototype was lost in a mishap nine days later, but tests with other YF-102 airframes revealed a disappointing truth: the type was sorely underpowered and incapable of level supersonic flight. Rarely had the Air Force invested so much in a system which performed so poorly.

Convair designers went back to the drawing board and the indented fuselage or 'area rule' configuration developed by NACA's Richard Whitcomb was hastily introduced in the much-altered YF-102A, which was assembled in a scant 117 days. The first of four YF-102As (53-1787/1790) flew at Edwards AFB on 20 December 1954, not merely with 'area rule' but with cambered wing, new canopy (except on 53-1788) and 5443kg thrust Pratt & Whitney J57-P-23. The new design was supersonic and met USAF expectations.

The production F-102A began to reach Air Defense Command squadrons in June 1955. The first two-seat TF-102A combat proficiency trainer (54-1351) flew at Edwards AFB 8 November 1955 and operated alongside F-102As in ADC service. Total Delta Dagger production was 873 airplanes.

The F-102B designation was briefly assigned to a new aircraft completed as the F-106. The little-known YF-102C (53-1806), a converted F-102A model, tested change in the internal fire control system, but these were not adopted.

A rakish, well-liked and easily-handling aircraft, popular out of proportion to its importance, the F-102A eventually served with 27 ADC and 23 ANG squadrons. Air Defense Command machines went through several modernisation programmes before being relegated to the ANG, the internal provision for rockets being eventually omitted. A few F-102As went to Greece and Turkey. A few camouflaged F-102As were deployed to South East Asia in 1964-6, and to trouble-plagued Korea in 1968 but, while they flew a few missions over North Vietnam, they are not thought to have actually been in combat.

The PQM-102A is a Sperry-converted airframe under the Pave Deuce programme for use as a fully manoeuvrable manned or unmanned target drone. About 30 have been converted. Numerous F-102A airframes have been saved, the 199th Fighter Interceptor Squadron of the Hawaii Air National Guard having retained no fewer than four non-flyable F-102As for display purposes after transitioning to the F-4C Phantom.

Convair F-102 Delta DaggerA three-view drawing (1680 x 1223)

 ENGINE1 x Pratt Whitney J57-P-23, 7802kg
    Take-off weight14187 kg31277 lb
    Wingspan11.62 m38 ft 1 in
    Length20.84 m68 ft 4 in
    Height6.46 m21 ft 2 in
    Wing area61.45 m2661.44 sq ft
    Max. speed1328 km/h825 mph
    Range2173 km1350 miles
 ARMAMENTair-to-air missiles

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 81-100 101-120
Hope, 26.02.2018

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John Pearson, 26.02.2018

To Chuck Gilbert,
was stationed at Richards Gebaur AFB from late 1962 until early 1964. I worked on the MG-10 radar fire control system on the F102. On May 13, 1963 I had just left the flight line and while driving back to the radar shop I heard a loud explosion and saw a large smoke column on the other side of the hangers between the runway and the road I was on. Everything was in out of control and I could not return to the flight line.
We were in the midst of an ORI ( organizational readiness inspection) and had to act as if we were under attack. Your father was on alert and had to be in the air within 5 minutes of the notice of an enemy target in the area (test). What we were told was that on take off his plane had some kind of malfunction and nosed up and stalled. He ejected while the plane was vertical and did not make it.
I do know that he was one of our best pilots and he was missed. Also I was and still am sorry for his loss. He was the only pilot we lost in my assignments at Richards Gebaur, Clark AB, Danang, Saigon and Bangkok.
I hope this gives you some feeling of what happened and some information you want about your fathers death.
John Pearson, 05.06.2017

Comm/nav tech on 102s in Goose Bay 1961-1963. 59th FIS. Anyone else in that area then?

Eddie P. Duff JR, 19.05.2017

I was assigned to 509th FIS in 1966/1967, crew chief on the F-102A and the F-102F two seater. Worked on the FltLine and phase docks. Transfered to the 64th FIS and went TDY to Danang (Alert Missions). Live in the Gun Fighters Village. We went through mant Motar attacks. We lost several acft on the fltline, to include: C-141, F-4 Phantom. I remmember, "Shaky", the C-124 that always parked at in of the Fltline. If anyone remmeber me there, please contact me.

Terry Soterhou, 03.04.2017

I remember this incident very well. If anyone would like to discuss please feel free to reach out.
@ Nick Guzman and Chuck Gilbert, I would really like to speak with you.
425 345 0402

Rock Roszak, 03.04.2017

We've just published a digital book titled "F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale". I'm now working on another book titled "Colors & Markings of the F-102 Delta Dagger." This book will have a section on every squadron that flew the Deuce. Anyone who can contribute usable photos of the F-102 to any squadron section will get my thanks and a free copy of the digital publication when it becomes available. You can email me at

Dallas Smith, 08.03.2017

For Jerry Doty: I met your father at Travis when I was with the 25thAD IG. I was later stationed with him at Naha, Nha Trang and Perrin. Contact me and I can give you lots on your Dad.

Robert Stoeckel bluebark67@gma, 04.02.2017

Greetings to all. I am looking for people who knew or met my father Capt. Charels G. Stoeckel. I think they called him Curly. He flew F-102's for the 64FIS but his history in the military goes back to his days at West Point. If this name rings a bell and you have a story or two to tell...actually anything...I would love to it

tom mandziara, 26.12.2016

1966 with 64th FIS December 1966,we were playing war games with a navy carrier going back to states,we lost a f102 with a head on collision with a navy plane ,,never seen that reported in the f102 book listing all f102s seen one f102 shown downed over south Vietnam same date think that how they coverd that up,,i was a f102 crewchief a1c worked on 102s for 4yrs from perrin afb texas to paine field wa, to clark pi

Garry Wallen, 16.12.2016

Message for Gary Childress.... Gary, I say your entry on here and would love to get in touch with you.. I hope you check back on here... You and I and Gary McEldowney worked together at Travis in ther 82nd and then McEldowney and I shipped over seas to Clark... I hope you get this and we can get back in touch... that would be awesome... my E-mail is hope to hear from you..

Thomas E. Crews, 29.09.2016

Michael Flannagan, I was at Perrin the same time as you 63-66. Worked in "F" flight and played softball for OMS. Would like to hear from you, contact me at:

Thomas E. Crews, 29.09.2016

I was a Crew Chief on a TF-102A at Perrin from 1963-66, had a TDY to Korat Thailand in 65 then back to Perrin. I worked out of "F" flight 4780th OMS on the flight line. I read what Grady Howell wrote about run-up and taxi and taking the Duce to the run-up pad, it was a blast to run at full military power, then kick it in afterburner. You could feel the strain at Full power, then AB kicked in, the nose would come up for a second, then hang on, you hoped those cables would hold, boy what a ride! Calling the Tower to get permission to cross the run-ways, "Perrin Tower maintenance F-102 request permission to cross East and West run-ways", they would call back " maintenance F-102 clear to cross the East, hold short of the West". Going across hold the brakes down, increase power and let off the breaks, getting the nose/wheel in the air,(not that I would have done something like that}. Never forget my time at Perrin! Oh yea, One of the guys said they on their squadron softball team, I played for OMS, Maj. Hammer Sq. Commander love the softball team. I would love to hear from anyone that was there during 63-66 contact me:

Gary Childress, 15.01.2016

I worked the F-102s when stationed with the 82nd FIS from 1963 until 1966 as a hydraulic mechanic. The aircraft were modified with an extra LOX converter and a refueling boom and then we deployed to NAHA AFB in Okinawa in 1966. I believe we had around 25 aircraft. I was discharged from the Air Force in 1966. I later made a trip back to Okinawa in the 80s to Kadena AFB. I met a avionics tech that married an Okinawan and told me that in 1972 when Okinawa was returned back to Japan the aircraft were abandoned in place and all of them were cut up and salvaged.

Martin Schott, 20.11.2015

It is 3 years since KEMMEL H OWEN left his comment for 56-1072 in this forum, but I still would like to ask.
During my first visit in USA I saw 56-1072 in a hangar at Tyndall AFB in June 1985. It remained the only 'living' F-102 for me ever, and I had no chance taking a pricture. All other F-102 I saw where withdrawn already. I would love having a photo of its last flight ;o)

If this message still reaches you ... thank you in advance!!

Best regards

Arthur Frank, 04.10.2015

I was a crew chief on the F-102A at Paine Field in 65-66. We were sent to Guam AFB when the 64th was sending the aircraft to Clark AFB using Guam as a transfer site. We landed in Clark AFB in June 1966. I left the 64th FIS to crew B-57s with the 8Th TBS with TDY to Phan Rang RVN July 66 until Dec 1967.

George Sterpka, 09.07.2015

Went to Tech school at Lowry AFB, CO for 8 months instruction on the MG3-10-13 AWCS. I worked both mock-up and flight line on the Deuces , first in the 601st CAMS at McGuire AFB, NJ. From there worked at the 525 FIS, Bitburg AB, Germany. Back to the states to Tyndall AFB, FL. Spent many, many hours in the Florida sun working the Deuces. Enjoyed a couple William Tell comps. From Tyndall I went to Suffolk County AFB, Westhampton Beach, NY. There I transitioned to the F-101 Voodoo interceptors. Then back to working on the Deuce at Keflavik AB, Iceland from 1968 to 1969. That was the last time I saw the Deuce. Went on to work on the F-106A/B Delta Dart.

Terry Soterhou, 19.04.2015


Terry Soterhou, 19.04.2015


Terry Soterhou, 19.04.2015


Chuck Gilbert chevchuc@gmail., 25.03.2015

Hi,my Dad was Capt.Jules A.Gilbert.He proudly flew in Rome,NY ,Elmendorf,AK and was sadly lost at Richards-Gebaur May 13 ,1963. Would love to hear from anyone about him or these duty stations...Thank you!

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To make it supersonic, the original YF-102 was lengthened and given bulges on the rear fuselage to change the cross-section. These protuberances were known as 'Marilyns'.

The YF-102 was a development of the XF-92 research aircraft, which was originally to be the ramjet-powered 'return' component of a large two-part composite attack aircraft.

The canopy of the YF-102 had heavy framing more akin to an early World War II fighter. Convair were probably worried about the stress of supersonic flight on large areas of Perspex.

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