U.S. Dollar Cost:
1 x 24,500 lbs.
1,440 U.S. gals.
1 x 20 mm
F-106 Delta Dart
A F-106 Delta Dart, built by Convair and piloted by Maj. Joseph Rogers, set the world speed record for a single engine aircraft of 1,525.95 mph. on Dec. 15, 1959.
It was the last aircraft built as a pure interceptor for the United States Air Force. They served from 1959 through 1988.
The F-106 Delta Dart began life as an improved F-102. It is easy to see the resemblance between the two aircraft.
The aircraft had so many changes from the original design, including a more powerful engine, both larger fuselage and wings, that it was given a separate designation as the F-106 Delta Dart.
Interestingly, the additional power of the new engine did not yield an associated improvement in top speed at first. Flight engineers in the 1950's were still pondering the aerodynamics of supersonic flight. It was eventually discovered that where the wings joined the aircraft fuselage was responsible for a great deal of drag at supersonic speeds.
When the fuselage of the aircraft was narrowed where it joined the wings, the aircraft lived up to its full performance potential. Eventually it became the main interceptor aircraft of the U.S. Air Force.
A unique feature of the interceptor was a radio link that enabled the aircraft to be guided from the ground to intercept enemy aircraft by computer. This was designated the Hughes MA-1. The system never achieved its promised potential and had limited usage.
Although many though the F-106 Delta Dart was superior in maneuverability to other aircraft of the time, it was not used in Vietnam, and never saw any combat.
Throughout its long service life, the aircraft were constantly being improved with updated avionics, targeting, and weapons systems. Eventually the aircraft were fitted with a canopy that allowed greater all around visibility. Other upgrades included the addition of mid-air refueling capabilities.
A total of 342 F-106 Delta Dart aircraft of all types were produced. There are 21 of the aircraft on static display throughout the United States.
F-106 Delta Dart