Convair F-106 Delta Dart
1956
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Convair F-106 Delta Dart

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.

3-View 
Convair F-106 Delta DartA three-view drawing (1657 x 1133)


Specification 
 CREW1
 ENGINE1 x Pratt Whitney J57-P-17, 11113kg
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight18975 kg41833 lb
    Empty weight10728 kg23651 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan11.67 m38 ft 3 in
    Length21.56 m71 ft 9 in
    Height6.18 m20 ft 3 in
    Wing area58.65 m2631.30 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed2454 km/h1525 mph
    Ceiling17375 m57000 ft
 ARMAMENTair-to-air missiles

Convair F-106 Delta Dart

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80
Rick Grebs, 22.03.2015

Was a MA-1 mech with 49th at Griffiss from April 72 to April 76. Loved the Six and still do. Loved night launches. Does anyone recall all the canon plug replacements that had to get done. Many fond memories. A print of 028 with signatures hangs in my dining room for all to see. Missed the 2013 reunion at WP but my son, who is an A-10 Warthog IP, 357th at DM, arranged an up close and personnel touch with 787. Still one of the best aircraft ever made. My hats off to all those pilots out there that flew the Six. Fly safe. Be safe.

Jim, 23.02.2015

I was in the Mock-up for most of my time with the Six, 6 months on Flight line. Was hoping someone has pictures of the different stands or of MA-1 door open on the bird? Thanks

Bill "Regis" Fihlman, 22.02.2015

I joined the 102nd fighter wing at Otis in Dec. of 1969 after 4 years in the Navy as an Aircraft Electricion on the A-7 Corsair. I joined the 102nd at Otis, worked on the six and eventually became the Electric shop chief. I retired after 31 years, 20 as a full time air technician. I loved working (and partying) with Tom Baker. He knew every system on the six. Does anyone have his contact information? I would love to chat with him.

Norm Komnick, 15.02.2015

Best plane I ever flew! And Tom Baker was the best tech who ever worked on them. The power plant was a J75-P-17' not J57.

Darrell Dunafon Jr., 08.02.2015

MY father, Darrell Dunafon was a test pilot at Convair and recieved his Mach 2 certificate on 6-29-59 in the F-106B.

Tom Lund, 02.02.2015

The "6" was an ageing aircraft when I checked out at Tyndall in 1973. 14 years later, I was still flying her at the 119 FIS, Atlantic City which was the last unit to fly this beautiful a/c. We celebrated the life of this wonderful fighter one weekend at ACY. Fly-bys, stories and a lot of renewed friendships were the norm. I had the honor of performing MC duties at the "Dart Out" dinner at the Showboat Casino Hotel. Over 500 people attended this last event to honor the life cycle of this grand old bird.

Leonard Musgrave, 28.01.2015

My first duty assignment after Maintenance Officer School at Chanute AFB was with the 438th TFS at Kincheloe AFB in Upper Michigan. I was the Flight Line Maintenance Officer for the 507th Maintenance Squardon. We had 18 A's and 2 B's. It was a great mechanical airplane but the electronics were a bit of a problem. Col. Martindale was the Base Commander, Major Hartz was the 507th Commander and Major Whitford was the Maintenance Control Officer. Spent 3 years at Kicheloe and then to 389th TFS in Dang, Vietnam for F's. Left the Af in 1968 and spent the next 44 years in the oil services business.

Leonard Musgrave, 28.01.2015

My first duty assignment after Maintenance Officer School at Chanute AFB was with the 438th TFS at Kincheloe AFB in Upper Michigan. I was the Flight Line Maintenance Officer for the 507th Maintenance Squardon. We had 18 A's and 2 B's. It was a great mechanical airplane but the electronics were a bit of a problem. Col. Martindale was the Base Commander, Major Hartz was the 507th Commander and Major Whitford was the Maintenance Control Officer. Spent 3 years at Kicheloe and then to 389th TFS in Dang, Vietnam for F's. Left the Af in 1968 and spent the next 44 years in the oil services business.

Gary D. Eppler, 26.01.2015

My first assignment out of A/C maintenance officers course at Rantoul, IL.was with the 27FIS, Loring AFB, ME (Brrr). Black Bart was the CC. Was OIC of FMS, OMS and Maintenance Control before going to Thailand in Dec 1968. Returned to 408th CAMS @ Kingsley Field Oregon, supporting the 460 FIS. Was the Mobility officer to relocate the 460 FIS to Grand Forks, North Dakota (Brrr again). I could talk all day about my many experiences at these locations and various TDY assignments. Great Memories - but the best ones were that cool looking A/C and the interesting people associated with it. Both of the Convair Tech Reps were great. SAC was not always the best "Host" to ADC units! God I loved that bird. Col Gary D. Eppler USAF, Retired

Gary D. Eppler, 26.01.2015

My first assignment out of A/C maintenance officers course at Rantoul, IL.was with the 27FIS, Loring AFB, ME (Brrr). Black Bart was the CC. Was OIC of FMS, OMS and Maintenance Control before going to Thailand in Dec 1968. Returned to 408th CAMS @ Kingsley Field Oregon, supporting the 460 FIS. Was the Mobility officer to relocate the 460 FIS to Grand Forks, North Dakota (Brrr again). I could talk all day about my many experiences at these locations and various TDY assignments. Great Memories - but the best ones were that cool looking A/C and the interesting people associated with it. Both of the Convair Tech Reps were great. SAC was not always the best "Host" to ADC units! God I loved that bird. Col Gary D. Eppler USAF, Retired

Gary D. Eppler, 26.01.2015

My first assignment out of A/C maintenance officers course at Rantoul, IL.was with the 27FIS, Loring AFB, ME (Brrr). Black Bart was the CC. Was OIC of FMS, OMS and Maintenance Control before going to Thailand in Dec 1968. Returned to 408th CAMS @ Kingsley Field Oregon, supporting the 460 FIS. Was the Mobility officer to relocate the 460 FIS to Grand Forks, North Dakota (Brrr again). I could talk all day about my many experiences at these locations and various TDY assignments. Great Memories - but the best ones were that cool looking A/C and the interesting people associated with it. Both of the Convair Tech Reps were great. SAC was not always the best "Host" to ADC units! God I loved that bird. Col Gary D. Eppler USAF, Retired

Paul Scott, 05.05.2014

Excellent aircraft, would have the edge over the Mirage III series, but obviously, more expensive.

Mike Dahlke, 26.04.2014

My dad, Gene Dahlke, was an MA-1 troop from 1960 until he retired after 22 years in the AF in 1972. Stationed at McChord, Duluth and Langley. I grew up hearing and watching the 6 and to this day I think it is one of the most beautiful aircraft ever to grace the skies. I spent my 4 years in the AF as an avionics tech on the F-111D, not nearly so gorgeous an airframe.

Bob Kusterer, 18.02.2014

Hey Bob, I've flown your old bird. 72470 was one of our birds in the MA ANG at OTIS AFB on Cape Cod, MA. It's possible that I flew it to the bone yard at DM. My first 6 was 72466 which was dead sticked into Albany Muni after an engine failure by Tom Gorman. I gave 466 to Tom; I figured he owned it. My next 6 was 72505. Both 466 and 505 were converted to drones and shot down. Don't feel bad about your old bird being shot down; that's a much more glorious way for a proud bird to go than just being cut up for scrap.

Bob Mazzarone, 22.01.2014

The F106 is a part of me, and will always be a part of me. I was a crew chief on 6's at McGuire AFB (539th FIS) and Dover AFB (95th FIS)from 1967-1970. I trained at Sheppard in 1966 on the F100 and F102 but when I saw the 106 there was nothing as beautiful either on the ground or in the sky. My bird was 72470 in McGuire and 72501 at Dover, both 1957 builds. Sadly, both met their demise as drones but its better than being home for fish, which they probably are anyway in a manner of speaking! Today there is a fully preserved and functional 6 at Dover AFB on the very ground that the 95th utilized back in the 60's and 70's. It's a 59 model but it bears the 95th markings (Mr. Bones) and actually served with the 95th back in the 70's. I'm a frequent visitor as it resides in the AMC museum that now occupies the old hangar and flightline. I spent many cold and hot days and nights on these planes and never regretted a minute of it. The F106...gone but not forgotten!

Merrill Eastcott, 20.12.2013

Just found this site. Greatly enjoyed reading all comments back to 2008 and recognized many names. I was A-Flight commander flying the Dart at Minot AFB 75-79. The sign over the main gate said, "Only the best come north." I actually came south to get to Minot as I was in Thule, Greenland the year before! I then flew the Dart at Tyndall AFB for two more years, first as Ops Officer of 2FITS, then commander. One of my prized possessions is a 2' x 3' water color of the "6" painted by Kathleen Ritter, the wife of one of our squadron pilots. Another treasure is a 3-d model of the F-106 cast entirely in stained glass, also created by a squadron member. Both are displayed prominently in my home office. As many have mentioned, the Dart was a magnificent machine for its day and it is a shame that most aviation museums do not even have one or aren't aware that it still to this day holds the world's single engine jet speed record. While at Minot I was the squadron maintenance test pilot and have flown more maximum Mach runs than I can count, all above M2. The kit plane industry has matured to the point where there are many sophisticated kits on the market, especially of some war birds such as the P-51. Sure which someone would offer a 50 or 60% F-106 replica kit!! I'd mortgage the house and kids to get my hands on one.

rob gondek, 11.11.2013

I worked MA-1 at Sawyer till 1979, I remember you Bob Serfas. I didn't go to Iceland, I was working Maintenance Control then. After they were deactivated, I went to ILL where they were being outfitted for Drone use. I missed seeing Col. Wotring by one day

Bob Kusterer, 18.09.2013

I flew the F-106 with the MA ANG for 14 years logging 2500 hours in it. I knew Tom Baker when he was there as AF advisor (Hi Tom). Really sweet flying bird but should have had better missiles. I flew a few to the bone yard at DM. My airplane, 572505, was converted to a drone and shot down; a much better demise for a proud bird than being scrapped.

Larry Vargo, 29.08.2013

Remember living in a coal-mining town in south-east Ohio and watching the AF doing flight tests/intercepts right overhead. In those days (late 50's) contrails meant military planes exclusively. And it was quite a show! Even the occasional sonic boom was entertaining. Focussing a telescope upon the end of a contrail revealed a delta-winged shape speeding through the sky.
In 1965 my first active-duty assignment was with the 1st A&E at Selfridge AFB MI as AFSC 30130 (radio mechanic). I was only there about a year due to the Vietnam War but it was a fantastic futuristic ship, looking much like the spacehips I'd seen on tv shows. But this was real; only now instead of watching from afar via optics, I was one of the ground crew keeping it flying over our planet. I recently retired from the reserves and the airlines but have always felt privileged to have such a high-flying (sorry) career in the aviation/electronic fields....two of the leading high-tech fields of the 20th century.

Bud Gorman, 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.

1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80

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