The Convair F-106 Delta Dart all-weather interceptor began its life as the F-102B but was essentially an entirely new aircraft design, having only a delta wing in common with its F-102 precursor. While development of the earlier fighter was delayed by various teething troubles in 1955-6, progress with the later machine became possible with the development of the Hughes MA-1 integrated fire-control system. In November 1955, the USAF placed an order for 17 F-102Bs and in December, a mock-up of the proposed cockpit with radically new equipment and pilot displays was completed. On 17 June 1956, the F-102B was redesignated F-106.
The USAF was tasking Convair to develop an interceptor which could intercept Soviet bombers in all weather at altitudes up to 21336m and over a radius of 692km. Armed with guided missiles and/or unguided rockets with nuclear warheads, the F-106 was data-linked to the semi-automatic ground environment (SAGE) air-defence network and was expected to carry out intercepts at high altitude on the automatic mode.
The first of two YF-106A service-test aircraft (56-451/452) flew on 26 December 1956 at Edwards AFB, California. Like most new fighter types in the 'century series', the F-106 was initially a disappointment. Maximum speed, rate of climb and overall acceleration were significantly below Air Defense Command expectations with the Pratt & Whitney J57-P-9 turbojet employed in the initial machines and the Wright J67, licence-built Olympus, being contemplated. When the latter powerplant failed to materialise, the USAF sharply reduced its requirement from 1,000 to 360 of the new interceptors. Coincidentally, performance was improved sharply with the installation of the 7800kg thrust Pratt & Whitney J75-P-17 turbojet which could provide 11100kg thrust with afterburning.
The F-106A attained its initial operating capability with the 498th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Geiger AFB, Washington, in October 1959 and subsequently served with 15 ADC and eight Air National Guard squadrons. Except for brief deployments to Europe and to Korea in 1968, the type served exclusively in North America. Totals of 277 F-106A single-seat interceptors served in company with 63 F-106B two-seat combat trainers, 340 machines actually being completed, and the types remained on active duty until 1982.
|A three-view drawing (1657 x 1133)|
| ENGINE||1 x Pratt Whitney J57-P-17, 11113kg|
| Take-off weight||18975 kg||41833 lb|
| Empty weight||10728 kg||23651 lb|
| Wingspan||11.67 m||38 ft 3 in|
| Length||21.56 m||71 ft 9 in|
| Height||6.18 m||20 ft 3 in|
| Wing area||58.65 m2||631.30 sq ft|
| Max. speed||2454 km/h||1525 mph|
| Ceiling||17375 m||57000 ft|
| ARMAMENT||air-to-air missiles|
|Bud Gorman, bgorman=frontirtnrt.nrt, 20.04.2013|
Worked the MA-1 system. 69 to 71 at Duluth, 87th FIS., 71 at K.I. Sawyer and last 6 months at Homestead AFB, Florida, Det 2 for Langley if I remember right. Then in the ANG. 72-73 at Otis ANGB Mass. And on to Selfridge 73-78. What a great bird. And a ride in F 106B 900150 on my last day. A good end to a cut short career.
|Lynn Ford, lford1011=zoominternet.net, 28.03.2013|
I was a MA-1 Weenie at Paine Field and was assigned to repair 59-009 Balls Nine after it had crashed at Paine. The right main gear drag strut broke and when Capt L set down the nose gear collapsed as it went off runway. I watched it fly again days before discharge! Loved those sixes.
|Dick Venters (MSGT retired), cavedigger=msn.com, 16.12.2012|
My first real AF assignment was with the 329th FIS, George AFB, Calif.I was an Instrument repairman and 'volunteered missle' loader for the 13 months at George. I retired in 2004 after 26 yrs USAF service. My last station was the 49 TFW, Kirtland AFB, NM working on A-7's then F-16's/w/FLIR.
I got see places all over the world, North Africa, Turkey, Italy, Panama, and many other places too many to mention. The F-106 was my favorite A/C and best people I ever worked with.OOORAH to all you all..excellent memories and friends throughout my career.
|Ken Wigton, kwigton=comcast.net, 04.12.2012|
To all F-106 troops, maintenance, pilots and interested folks: There is an upcoming all F-106 reunion at Wright Patterson AFB September 11-15, 2013. Open to all and any folks connected in any way to the 106. Contact email@example.com or Bob Kwiecinski firstname.lastname@example.org
|Tom Baker (MSgt. Ret.), bakers63=verizon.net, 03.11.2012|
Best aircraft I ever had the pleasure to work on. I had 16 years on the 6 starting in 1963 with the 498th, Geiger Field, then to McChord with the 318th. After a year in Thailand it was on to the 27th and 83rd in Lorning. Next was three years with the Mass. ANG on Cape Cod as an Air Force Advisor. After 17 months in England it was back to McChord for my last three years until I retired in 1980. I was lucky to have several rides in the 6 with one being a Mach 2 flight in 1965 over Puget Sound WA. Best of the best.
|Fennie Reese(retired chief), mrfennie=verizon.net, 23.10.2012|
I was a SAGE winnie at Duluth Sector 61 to 65 and knew all the 6 drivers during the time. L/C Kuppersmith was sq cmdr during the time, does any of you fromer drivers know cpt Granville Anderson, Howard Bell where abouts, both were flight cmdrs and IP's. I am not sure what type bird Anderson flew before Duluth, Bell had flown duces in the Netherlands prior. Col Morris Petty our base commanders lost his life in 6 north of Superior @ 63, The WWII ace Coilonel Harry Thyng was sector commander and was qualified with everything assigned to the base. A young Lt we called "Tailpipe" Walters whom was first class zoomie grad was in charge of all classified matters at the KAK Codes for penetrating the ADIZ. The Red Bulls also had Lt Win E. DePorter who happen to be the first to eject from a 6 during a ops hope to Minot 5FIS, I ran into him again when he was flying Spads in RVN out of Pleiku. The Red Bull were were big party dawgs and regularily upset the O Club, in fact the put the sq commanders Volks Bug on top of the club one night when they had a big beach comer that was 20 below outside. I use to be the off duty chef in the club and done the bartender trick there for several years. I will never forget what it was like when we were notified of the Cuba Crisis, of my 3 combat tours in RVN I never had fear like I did the morning the Senior Director (Colonel Dan Wolf) broke the new during the day shift briefing. I am in my 70's at 100% disable and still member how to control them 6's, I have several pictures of the original Red Bull birds taken by the base photo lab, o yeah, I was on the flight line when that 38 went down on TO trying to beat the weather window, the student pilot was from Duluth and his IP was from Superior. The Dart's will always be on my watch.
|Manny Rodriguez, Mannygr=comcast.net, 18.10.2012|
I was a member of the 539FIS from mid 1956 to late 1959. First with the F86D/L and then as a test force squadron for the F106. I'm interested in communicating with a name I see here, Rich Rispoli I'm a senior tech with Delta Airlines , and one of my mechanics Is a Joe Risploi, any relation? It sure would be nice to tell Joe Rich and I served in the same outfit.
|joe bush, jeb561=sbcglobal.net, 26.09.2012|
I also was assigned to the 319th at bunker hill arrived there around sept 1962 and went to selfridge. i was in what they called back then mechanical accessories and our shop was in a small corner of the engine shop. i spent 120 days tdy at clark,pi working on the f-102 until permanent duty personnel was reassigned to the shop.
|Richard "Hooter" Huth Sr. USAF, fstop73=yahoo.com, 12.08.2012|
The F-106 was my first jet at 84th FIS Castle AFB Ca. till '75 then back from a year in Korea was stationed in the 87th FIS @ KI Sawyer AFB, Mi from '76 to '84. Was a Crew Cheif. I spent have my career on the F-106 I knew that jet very well and enjoyed workin on it most of the time!! Its a beautiful jet!!
|Richard Rispoli, richrispoli45=yahoo.com, 11.02.2012|
I was in 539th FIS, MvGuire,1964-1966, Hydraulic Mech.
I helped replace a wing on a bird that was in a mid air collision, it landed at a Air National Guard Base in Atlantic City or Asbeury Park, can't remember which one. Looking for old buddies from 539th or 64th
|alvin cales, alcales=aol.com, 24.12.2011|
I was at Minot AFB, North DAkota from 1959 until July 61 assigned to the 5th Fighter Interceptor Sq. . I was a Jet Engine Mechanic and helped set up a Jet Engine Test cell for the Pratt & Whitney J- 75 Engine that was installed in the F- 106. It was a very powerful engine..I believe it's normal thrust was around 17,000 lbs. but in extremely cold weather it put out a lot more than it's rated thrust. Was at Minot 22 months and had 2 children born there.. cold weather is a bitch.
|Bob Serfas, X51bob=aol.com, 21.12.2011|
I was stationed at KI Sawyer with the 87th FIS, was an instrument tech, 8 years. Loved this aircraft for it's beauty,still the sharpest aircraft ever though tough to work on, some pretty cramped places on that bird. I remember Dick Stultz and his nose art, did the "William Tell" shoot off in 1976 at Tyndall, great time. I cried when the "droned" all the sixes, pitiful end to a storied career.
I also was on the ICELAND deployment ! anyone else remember that one? I was born in Marquette, had the privelage to be stationed at KI, miss the sounds and smell of the aircraft in the air over town.
Thanks for the nice webpage.
Bob "SURF" Serfas, ex Tsgt (not retired)
|Jack Krause, jkrause54=msn.com, 12.09.2011|
Established the first formal F-106 pilot's ground school at Tyndall in 1965. 600 hours. Hit Mach 2 on tests 65 times according to my log. Flew the bird at McGuire, Tyndall, Loring and McChord. Great, great machine.
|Bob Steger, steger=cebridge.net, 15.07.2011|
Anyone out there that was with F106 test program at Holloman AFB 1956-1962?
|Dave Hanthorn, DavidHanthorn=Comcast.net, 06.07.2011|
I was with the 318th (as a tech on the MA-1 system) when we made that historic little camping trip to Osan, Korea in February of 1968. The "six" was the coolest aircraft in the sky, and we had some wild adventures (most were classified back then) and good times and bad, but its was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything looking back on it (though I wasn't always so happy at the time). Worked with some really good people (and the few inevitable assholes). Haven't had any contact with any of those guys since then, but would love to trade a few lies and a few beers if I should ever meet up with any of them again. Thanks for this website, the memories have been flooding back.
|Fred Robson, Fkrobson=yahoo.com, 27.06.2011|
Anybody out there who was in Minot N.D. with the 5th FIS from 1966-68? I was crew chief on 90026 and spent many cold days and nights on that great bird!
|Jim McNamara, jmc2340=aol.com, 24.06.2011|
Flew the 106 at Duluth, the 11th FIS, (after checkout at Tyndall) for two and 1/2 years, 1964, 65 and 66. The original Red Bulls. The squadron moved in the late 60's or early 70's and became the 87th. It flew as great as it looked. Went to Tyndall and some of us got fitted in pressure suits that they said were similar to the ones used in the Gemini program. Had a little cooler box and all. We ran on U-2's at 65,000 feet. We were at 60,000. Accelerate to 1.8 mach at about 37,000, then climb at 1.8. The missle firing range at that altitude was 8 miles. And we were not to fly past the U-2. They feared the shock wave from the 106 would flame them out, and might have done some structural damage. Not sure. We also ran quartering head on passes on one of our guys in a Six. He was at 65,000. What a closure rate. 2500 knots or so. And the MA-1 fire control system worked great. Some times I don't think we appreciated just what we were doing at the time. Sure savor the memories. And the fellow pilots and the terrific maintainers. Pretty high tech. As you can see from what Mike is saying, below. I sure never needed to know that much about the system. And the SAGE hook up really worked. We called it auto/auto. Meaning auto pilot and auto track. The system took us out to the target, through the intercept and break away, and back to home base. picked up the ILS. Took over at 100 feet or so. Slick!! Great to have had the opportunity.
|Gene Leary, gleary2272=yahoo.com, 05.05.2011|
This was my Father's favorite aircraft. He always had stories from when he was flying the "6". He has since passed and I was wondering if there were any former pilots or crew that would have any pictures of him and his "6". He would have been a Capt (Bill Leary) at the time (mid to late '70's? I think) and flew with the 87th FIS Red Bulls out of K.I. Sawyer, MI. Any info would be appreciated (I've been looking on the Delta Dart forums as well, with no success. Thanks.
|mary hartley, mhartley=housingservices.com, 28.04.2011|
how does it fly so high ?
|Robert N. Mazzarone, Robert_Mazzarone=Yahoo.com, 07.04.2011|
I worked on 6's from 1967-1970. I was in the 539th FIS at McGuire AFB right after tech school and then went to Dover when the 539th was consolidated into the 95th. I have nothing but good things to report about this beautiful airplane and it pains me so much to see that they're all but gone. I spent 2 1/2 years of my life at DAFB and they were most enjoyable. Fortunately for me, I now live in Delaware and often visit the AMC Museum there, to which I am now a member of the ground crew, to visit a lone F-106A that was actually a 95th bird and still wears the 'Mr. Bones" paint scheme. The 90023, a 1959 model was after my time there, but it gives me chills to look up at that tail and see that logo, on the grounds that I walked for 2 1/2 years back in the late sixties. It's so hard to believe that the 106 is obsolete and all but gone.....my heart goes out to tail numbers 72470, 72501, and 72499.....
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?