The Museum's F-106 is the only surviving Delta Dart that was stationed at Dover AFB, Delaware
When it was introduced in the late 1950s, the Convair F-106 was one of the fastest fighters in the world. An extensive redesign of the F-102, the F-106 had twice its speed, met all requirements for a manned interceptor to defend North America, and was a favorite of many pilots who flew it.
The 95th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS) was stationed at Dover AFB from 1963 until January 1973. The museum's F-106 was assigned here from April 1972 until the 95th was deactivated and all aircraft were transferred to the 177th Fighter Group, an Air National Guard unit at Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The 177th was the last unit to operate F-106s in national defense, retiring the last ones in 1988. Over 200 F-106s were then assigned to the drone target program and were used as full-size supersonic targets for more modern fighters. They proved to be difficult targets even for the latest technology.
In 1988, they were again retired, and the museum's aircraft was flown to Dover in February 1998.
Type: Single-seat interceptor
Powerplant: One 17,165-lb-thrust Pratt & Whitney J75-P-17 turbojet
engine and 24,450 lb of thrust with afterburner.
Maximum Speed: 1,490 mph/Mach 2.25
Range: 1,142 mi. with max payload
Service Ceiling: 57,990 ft
Max Takeoff Weight: 38,170 lb
Weapons: One M61A-120-mm cannon, four AIM-4E and/or AIM-4G Falcon air-to-air missiles, plus two AIR-2B
Wing Span: 38 ft 3 in
Length: 70 ft 8 in
Height: 20 ft 3 in
Above: F-106A Delta Dart from California ANG fires an AIR-2 Genie rocket.
The F-106 had a powerful search radar and an infrared search-and-track system.
One of the main features of the F-102 that needed to be redesigned was the air intake which was insufficient to cope with the mass flow of the huge J75 engine.
The F-106 had a highly advanced avionics package integrated with the ground-based NORAD air defense system.
The F-106 usually carried a pair of underwing fuel tanks as did the previous F-102.
The J75 engine was also used in the Republic F-105 Thunderchief. It was one of the most powerful engines of its day.