Convair F-106 Delta Dart


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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.

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

 ENGINE1 x Pratt Whitney J57-P-17, 11113kg
  Take-off weight18975 kg41833 lb
  Empty weight10728 kg23651 lb
  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
  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 81-100
Darrel, 25.02.2020 05:51

Worked 106 at george 1960-1964 loved it.


Nancy Elliott, e-mail, 18.10.2016 17:40

I cut my teeth on the F-106 at K.I. Sawyer AFB in 1975. I still love that plane, there is an absolutely gorgeous one on display at Castle AFB, better paint job than the ones we used to fly. I have been an aircraft & power plant mechanic all my life, after 5 years in the AF, 16 years working for P&W in FLA, and now Tinker AFB. Many great memories of great people, and so many stories! Capt. J. crashed two 106's, the base lost a B-52 and her crew off the end of the runway at Sawyer, hours and hours spent chipping ice from grounding points, 25 deg F fuel running down my arm into my armpit, the night I saw my first C-5 on the end of the runway, and the aurora borealis. Joe's or what bar in Marquette, and the big treat, the Northwoods Supper Club.
Yes we would get Coors in the missle bay, packed in with the golf clubs. A case of beer from a pilot if he messed up, or a keg if it was really bad.
I still remember the 20-something bolts to be safety-wired on the variable inlet ramp, where was the new safety cable and guns when you needed them?
Ah, packing a new chute right over the top of a 600 deg tailpipe, since someone popped it at the end of the runway BEFORE T /O. (That was a case of beer) Illegal run-ups on jacks in the flight line shelters, too cold to roll outside. Wild animals on the trim pad, big cats are REALLY big when you are out there alone.
At Tyndall, wash, wash, wash, salt is no one's friend.
Working at the R&D center for P&W, the J-75 was our slave. Literally. It ran for days on end, burning anything that would go through the pipes, stopping long enough to do a hot section, and start it back up again. We had two of them.
Also while there, I worked on just about everything and anything that Pratt had, and a few things that "don't exist".
The F-106 was a fantastic thrill to watch, full burner T /O at night, max climb, the visceral roar and pressure of the engine that was as old as I was. You always remember your first!


Bob Elkins, e-mail, 20.05.2016 11:56

On duty FEB'65-APR-68, 456th FIS, CAFB, flight line AWCIS tech for the Ol' Flyin' Malfunction. We were crack outfit - 2 years Aid Defense Command "A" award, 2nd place Hughes trophy one year, Pres. unit citation; set the record for 109 missions in one day. Good duty, good people, lousy climate (but better than Minot!).


JL brown jr, e-mail, 11.05.2016 19:23

Does anyone know of any old aim-4 or ATR-2A load trainers for sell


Larry Roche, e-mail, 18.05.2015 04:44

I was on another site and remembered something that had happened while I was still at Sawyer. I worked Phase Docks for a while and we did 57-2547, one of the B Models. Now, I believe it was a FCF flight they were doing but can't be quoted at 100%. I remember a bunch of people coming out as it came it including the commander. As we were waving it into the hanger, the canopy started to pop up and as it stopped, it was chocked. Suddenly the back seat pilot started to climb out of the airplane. We still had the engine running and hadn't even gotten the ladders up. The co pilot hopped down past the intake and hit the ground. He walked over by where I was and was shaking. They took off with the crew in the commanders car. What was told to us, and again, I only got what was told by the pilot to the crew chief, was they were flying at 30,000-40,000 ft. The aircraft then flipped over on its back and started down. From the explanation neither pilot could get the stick to move and they had no control what so ever. This continued on down to something like 20,000 ft or so. As quickly as it started, they regained control and headed back to base immediately. I see why they were a bit shaken up. What I have always wondered was is the story true of what the aircraft did? I know we spent a few weeks going over everything and never really found a true 100% reason. Does anyone remember this incident? I can't remember a lot of names but I would sure like to know the true story and what really happened. Anyone who knows, please either tell it here or EMail me


Larry Roche, e-mail, 16.05.2015 05:38

I was stationed at KI Sawyer from 1982 till we were deactivated. I was an Aircraft Electrician. There isn't another aircraft I've seen that gives your heart a jump like a 6 kicking in the afterburner when you were standing out on 4 row. Sound familiar? I see names in here of guys I worked with so long ago. I went to Alaska and worked 130's, 141's, KC-10's, KC-135's, HH-3's and C-5's. It took me almost a year before I could do anything on them because you could actually SEE what you were doing! How many of you remember working on things where you just stuck your hand in the hole without seeing what you were fixing? They built a lot of fighters afterwards but no one ever had that one stage after burner, or looked as sleek in the air. And if you got lucky, there would be an FCF flight and the pilot would go to the north end of the runway. Do you remember how long it was? But as it came close, he'd pull the stick back and climb into the sky !! I would LOVE to find one of those videos. Anyone knows of one, I'd sure love to hear from you.


Steve Dannahower, e-mail, 08.05.2015 06:52

Looking for info about an F106 that flamed out turning base to final for rwy 13 at Tyndall. Might be 58-0778 on July 8th, 1981, or 59-0079. Would greatly appreciate any clues. I was the controller working the tower. Always wanted to discuss with the pilot but never got the chance.


M Shapiro, e-mail, 02.04.2015 01:14

Weapons Control was too sophisticated for its time. Rarely worked @ the 329th FIS George,Afb 1960-1964 We had a lot of fun though seating and reseating black boxes.


Bill Marshall, e-mail, 30.03.2015 21:30

Worked this aircraft from 1970 to fall of 1983 as an aircraft maintenance technician-Flight controls,engine,egress,weight & balance etc at Duluth and K.I. Sawyer with the 87th FIS.Great aircraft but a lot of maintenance man hours expended per flying hour.


Rick Grebs, e-mail, 22.03.2015 21:37

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, e-mail, 23.02.2015 05:18

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, e-mail, 22.02.2015 17:00

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, e-mail, 15.02.2015 04:11

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., e-mail, 08.02.2015 20:26

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, e-mail, 02.02.2015 22:29

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, e-mail, 28.01.2015 08:22

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, e-mail, 26.01.2015 15:46

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, e-mail, 05.05.2014 18:11

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


Mike Dahlke, e-mail, 26.04.2014 06:53

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, e-mail, 18.02.2014 04:47

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.


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