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|
|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.
|Lynn Ford, 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), 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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Bob Kwiecinski email@example.com
|Tom Baker (MSgt. Ret.), 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), 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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)
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?