The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was an American interceptor aircraft that was built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's.
Convair F-102 Delta Dagger
Design and development
The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was an American interceptor aircraft that was built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's air defenses in the late 1950s. Entering service in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept invading Soviet strategic bomber fleets (Tupolev Tu-95) during the Cold War. Designed and manufactured by Convair, 1,000 F-102s were built.
A member of the Century Series, the F-102 was the USAF's first operational supersonic interceptor and delta-wing fighter. It used an internal weapons bay to carry both guided missiles and rockets. As originally designed, it could not achieve Mach 1 supersonic flight until redesigned with area ruling. The F-102 replaced subsonic fighter types such as the Northrop F-89 Scorpion, and by the 1960s, it saw limited service in the Vietnam War in bomber escort and ground-attack roles. It was supplemented by McDonnell F-101 Voodoos and, later, by McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs.
Many of the F-102s were transferred from the active duty Air Force to the Air National Guard by the mid-to-late 1960s, and, with the exception of those examples converted to unmanned QF-102 Full Scale Aerial Target (FSAT) drones, the type was totally retired from operational service in 1976. The follow-on replacement was the Mach-2 Convair F-106 Delta Dart, which was an extensive redesign of the F-102.
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The first operational service of the F-102A was with the 327th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at George Air Force Base, in April 1956, and eventually a total of 889 F-102As were built, production ending in September 1958.[ TF-102s and F-102s were used in the 1960s by the Air Defense Command (ADC) at Perrin AFB, Texas to train new F-102 pilots. They also provided platform training on flight characteristics of delta-winged aircraft for pilots who were destined to fly the B-58 Hustler bomber for the Strategic Air Command (SAC).
Convair F-102 Delta Dagger
To solve the problem and save the F-102, Convair embarked on a major redesign, incorporating the recently discovered area rule, while at the same time simplifying production and maintenance. The redesign entailed lengthening the fuselage by 11 ft (3.35 m), being "pinched" at the midsection (dubbed the "Coke Bottle configuration"), with two large fairings on either side of the engine nozzle, with revised intakes and a new, narrower canopy. A more powerful model of the J57 was fitted, and the aircraft structure was lightened
Convair F-102 Delta Dagger: Specifications
First flight 24 October 1953
Introduction April 1956
Primary users United States Air Force
Number built 1,000
Unit cost US$1.2 million
Developed from Convair XF-92
Developed into F-106 Delta Dart
Convair F-102 Delta Dagger "The Tub"
The F-102's official name, "Delta Dagger", was never used in common parlance, with the aircraft being universally known as the "Deuce." The TF-102 was known as the "Tub" because of its wider fuselage with side-by-side twin seating.