Friday, February 5, 2016

The Friday Flyby - February 2016

A U.S. Air Force Convair F-102A-75-CO Delta Dagger (s/n 56-1350) intercepting a Soviet Tupolev Tu-95 Bear bomber. (Source)

F-106A Delta Dart from California ANG fires an AIR-2 Genie. (Source)

So it struck me, while thinking about what I should post, that I hadn't done a Friday Flyby in a while. Haven't done one at all in this here new year of 2016. So, I figured it was about time. When I was a kid (a long, long, long time ago) the F-102 was considered to be quite a "cool" aircraft. At any rate, it looked pretty damn cool with those delta wings, that pointy nose, and that rakish looking cockpit. I actually saw one fly over once. A rare treat in rural Vermont.

The F-106 came along later, still cool looking, at least to me. My first room mate in tech school all the way back in 1975 was actually going to school to maintain the weapon systems on the F-106. I was an F-4 Phantom weapons control systems guy, we got along great, neither of us knew squat at that point in our careers. Didn't even know enough to make fun of each other's aircraft choices. All his possible assignments were in the States, working the F-4 I could go lots of places. All over the world even! Not that I did. But I did get to Japan and Korea when I worked Phantoms. Not sure where the roomie went, probably some northern tier Air Defense Command base. Brrrrr...

A cross-section drawing of Convair F-102 Delta Dagger. (Marcin Zieliński derivative work: Mikhail Ryazanov - Source)

Two USAF Convair F-102A Delta Dagger interceptors of the 509th Fighter Interceptor Squadron over Vietnam in November 1966. Originally deployed to escort bombers over North Vietnam and defend South Vietnamese airspace against possible North Vietnamese bombers, they provided close air support for allied ground forces in South Vietnam. 14 F-102s would be lost during the war, 1 in air to air combat. (Source)

Units flying the Delta Dagger - (Data from Wikipedia)
Air Defense Command / Aerospace Defense Command
  • 2nd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Suffolk County AFB (1956–1959)
  • 5th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Suffolk County AFB (1956–1960)
  • 11th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Duluth AFB (1956–1960)
  • 18th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Wurtsmith AFB (1957–1960)
  • 27th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Griffiss AFB (1957–1959)
  • 31st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Wurtsmith AFB (1956–1957); transferred to Alaska Air Command
  • 37th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Ethan Allen AFB (1957–1960)
  • 47th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Niagara Falls AFB (1958–1960)
  • 48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Langley AFB (1957–1960)
  • 57th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Naval Station Keflavik (1962–1973)
  • 59th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Goose Bay AFB(1960–1966)
  • 61st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Truax Field (1957–1960)
  • 64th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – McChord AFB (1957–1960), Paine Field (1960–1966)
  • 71st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Selfridge AFB (1958–1960)
  • 76th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Westover AFB (1961–1963)
  • 82d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Travis AFB (1957–1966)
  • 86th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Youngstown AFB (1957–1960)
  • 87th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Lockbourne AFB (1958–1960)
  • 95th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Andrews AFB (1958–1959)
  • 317th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – McChord AFB (1957–1958)
  • 318th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – McChord AFB (1957–1960)
  • 323d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Truax Field (1956–1957), Harmon AFB (1957–1960)
  • 325th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Truax Field (1957–1966)
  • 326th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Richards-Gebaur AFB (1957–1967)
  • 327th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – George AFB (1956–1958), Thule AB (1958–1960)
  • 329th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – George AFB (1958–1960)
  • 331st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Webb AFB (1960–1963)
  • 332nd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – McGuire AFB (1957–1959), England AFB (1959–1960), Thule AB (1960–1965)
  • 438th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Kincheloe AFB (1957–1960)
  • 456th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Castle AFB (1958–1960)
  • 460th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Portland AFB (1958–1966)
  • 482nd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Seymour Johnson AFB (1956–1965)
  • 498th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Geiger Field (1957–1959)
Alaskan Air Command
  • 317th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Elmendorf AFB (1958–1970)
  • 31st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Elmendorf AFB (1957–1958)
United States Air Forces in Europe
  • 32d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Soesterberg AB (1960–1969)
  • 431st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Zaragosa AB (1960–1964)
  • 496th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Hahn AB (1960–1970)
  • 497th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Torrejon AB (1960–1963)
  • 525th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Bitburg AB (1959–1969)
  • 526th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Ramstein AB (1960–1970)
Pacific Air Forces
  • 4th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Misawa AB (1957–1965)
  • 16th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Naha AB (1959–1965)
  • 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Yokota AB (1957–1965)
  • 64th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Clark AB (1966–1969)
  • 68th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Itazuke AB (1957–1965)
  • 82d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Naha AB (1966–1971)
  • 509th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Clark AB (1959–1970)
Air National Guard
  • 102d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, NY ANG – Suffolk County ANGB (1972–1975)
  • 111th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, TX ANG – Ellington Field (1960–1975)
  • 116th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, WA ANG – Geiger Field (1965–1969)
  • 118th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, CT ANG – Bradley ANGB (1966–1971)
  • 122nd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, LA ANG – NAS New Orleans (1960–1971)
  • 123d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, OR ANG – Portland ANGB (1966–1971)
  • 132nd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, ME ANG – Bangor ANGB (1969–1970)
  • 134th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, VT ANG – Burlington ANGB (1965–1975)
  • 146th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, PA ANG – Pittsburgh AP (1961–1975)
  • 151st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, TN ANG – McGhee-Tyson ANGB (1963–1964)
  • 152d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, AZ ANG – Tucson ANGB (1966–1969)
  • 157th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, SC ANG MacEntire ANGB (1963–1975)
  • 159th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, FL ANG – Imeson Field (1960–1968), Jacksonville ANGB 1968–1974
  • 175th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, SD ANG – Sioux Falls AFB (1960–1970)
  • 176th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, WI ANG – Truax Field (1966–1974)
  • 178th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, ND ANG – Hector Field (1966–1969)
  • 179th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, MN ANG – Duluth ANGB (1966–1971)
  • 182nd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, TX ANG – Kelly AFB (1960–1969)
  • 186th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, MT ANG – Great Falls ANGB (1966–1972)
  • 190th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, ID ANG – Gowen Field (1964–1975)
  • 194th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, CA ANG – Fresno ANGB (1964–1974)
  • 196th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, CA ANG – Ontario IAP (1965–1975)
  • 199th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, HI ANG – Hickam AFB (1960–1977)

Note that the 134th was out of Burlington, Vermont, no doubt they owned the bird I saw when I was a kid.

F-102A in the Cold War Gallery of the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (Source)

I'm thinking that I need to get my butt out to Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. I mean, I was in the Air Force, why haven't I visited the National Museum of the Air Force yet? It's on my places to go, things to visit list. (Yes, yes, when I get out there, I'll let the locals know. Y'all can buy me a Guinness and I'll tell you tales of brave Ulysses, er, I mean my days in the Air Force...)

Now as far as I can recall, the only F-106 I've ever seen is out at the airport in Fresno, California. And that only from the road as we were going to and fro from the airport, flying in to see The WSO and her tribe, or flying back out again. One of these days I'll convince the clan to pay a visit to that little museum. They have an F-4 as well! (A P-51 Mustang as well, I think, yeah, I'm pretty sure.)

One of the last two F-106s in active service, seen here in 1990 as a safety chase aircraft in the B-1B aircraft production acceptance flight test program. (Source)

A Soviet Tu-95 is intercepted by a F-106A off Cape Cod in 1982. (Source)

Units flying the Delta Dart - (Data from Wikipedia)

Air Defense Command / Aerospace Defense Command-cum-Tactical Air Command
  • 2nd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Wurtsmith AFB (1971–1972)
  • 5th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Minot AFB (1960–1985)
  • 11th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Duluth AFB (1960–1968)
  • 27th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Loring AFB (1959–1971)
  • 48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Langley AFB (1960–1982)
  • 49th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Griffiss AFB (1968–1987)
  • 71st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Richards-Gebaur AFB (1960–1971)
  • 83rd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Loring AFB (1971–1972)
  • 84th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Hamilton AFB (1968–1973); Castle AFB (1973–1981)
  • 87th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Duluth AFB (1968–1971); K.I. Sawyer AFB (1971–1985)
  • 94th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Selfridge AFB (1960–1971)
  • 95th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Andrews AFB (1959–1973)
  • 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron – McChord AFB (1960–1983)
  • 319th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Bunker Hill AFB (1960–1963) / Grissom AFB (1971–1972)
  • 329th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – George AFB (1960–1967)
  • 437th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Oxnard AFB (1968–1968)
  • 438th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Kincheloe AFB (1960–1968)
  • 456th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Castle AFB (1959–1968)
  • 460th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Oxnard AFB (1968–1974)
  • 498th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – Geiger Field (1959–1968)
  • 539th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron – McGuire AFB (1959–1967)
Air National Guard
  • 101st Fighter Interceptor Squadron, MA ANG – Otis ANGB (1972–1988)
  • 119th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, NJ ANG – Atlantic City ANGB (1972–1988)
  • 159th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, FL ANG – Jacksonville ANGB (1974–1987)
  • 171st Fighter Interceptor Squadron, MI ANG – Selfridge ANGB (1972–1978)
  • 186th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, MT ANG – Great Falls ANGB (1972–1987)
  • 194th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, CA ANG – Fresno ANGB (1974–1984)
Okay, so those F-106 bases weren't all way up north.

An F-102 (foreground) and an F-106 side by side at Warner Robins AFB. (Source - this guy has a lot of nice pics!)

Cool jets. FRaVMotC Dave's Daily Day Dream used to fly the F-102, he has some good tales at his place. Give him a read, perhaps we can ask him (real nice like) if he's going to finish his tale of the Nguyễn brothers. I know I want to hear how that turned out.

If Dave has time of course.

Yup, love those Convair Deltas!

Update -

As mentioned by SL in the comments, here's that F-106 out at Fresno, same bird as above! (Note the tail number, 90146.) Pretty cool I think.

Google Street View


  1. Air Force Museum is wrapping up an expansion according to their website. Building opening 08JUN16.
    And they have a B-36. (Jimmy Stewart's movie, Strategic Air Command)
    This summer's vacation is laid out as a rambling road trip and part of that is a two day visit to the Air Force Museum. (did I mention they have a B-36?)
    Virtual Tour of B-36.
    Also including a side trip to Chicago to visit the U-505 and the Art Museum.
    The aircraft in today's post seem to have a strange lack of tailhooks.

    1. Sanderson's blog seems fine now. This is a link to her visit to the Museum.
      And strangely, there is a photo of the Museum's B-36.

    2. Love that Boeing tail, looks just like the B-29 and the B-17. Even today the Boeing birds have a distinctive tail. Well, it looks distinctive to me. Guess I'm just a Boeing fan.

    3. Whaddaya mean, not Tailhooks?

  2. I haven't visited the Air Force Museum either. Maybe a turning rejoin over Akron this summer?

    1. That idea has been rattling around in the old noggin for a while now. Perhaps a...

      ROAD TRIP!! in order.

    2. Why that's only 20 miles from here! We'll show up if we get to help set the date. Places to go, people to see.... all summer.

    3. Yeah, I know, we all mean Dayton now, don't we.

    4. This could be epic.

      I could turn this into a vacation. If I drive and take I-76, Gettysburg isn't that much of a diversion.

      I can see the look on The Missus Herself's face now. Long drive, battlefield tramping, then an aircraft museum. Yeah, she's gonna love it.

    5. I didn't answer your comment, Cap'n. Of course you can help set the date. Toss some suggestions out there.

      We're flexible. I guess Dayton is the nearest metropolis. Right?

    6. 2nd or 3rd Week in June is probably good. Anything after mid July would probably rule me out.

    7. I'll pass that along to the staff. :)

  3. The comment about the Deuce being used for CAS piqued my interest. Came across thisin the "source of all factual knowledge".

    "The F-102 was employed in the air-to-ground role with limited success, although neither the aircraft nor the training for its pilots were designed for that role. The 509th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron's Deuces arrived at Da Nang Air Base, 4 August 1964 from Clark Air Base, Philippines.[27] The interceptor was equipped with 24 2.75 in (70 mm) FFARs in the fuselage bay doors. These could be used to good effect against various types of North Vietnamese targets in daylight. At night it proved less dangerous to use heat-seeking Falcon missiles in conjunction with the F-102's nose-mounted IRST (Infrared Search & Track) on nighttime harassment raids along the Ho Chi Minh trail. Some F-102As were configured to accommodate a single AIM-26 Super Falcon in each side bay in lieu of the two conventional AIM-4 Falcons. Operations with both the F-102A and TF-102A two-seaters (which were used in a Forward Air Control role because its two seats and 2.75 in/70 mm rockets offered good versatility for the mission) continued in Vietnam until 1968 when all F-102s were returned to the United States."

    Using an IRST and an air to air missile for night interdiction. Cool!

    1. That seems pretty ingenious. Making do with what you've got until something better comes along.

    2. Course with a 7.5 lb warhead, it's not going to do a lot of damage. Kinda reminds me of John Wayne and Jack Elam's in Rio Lobo "Splatter gun is useless." "You don't mind if I shoot do you? Makes me feel better."

    3. Getting to shoot always makes ya feel better...

  4. From Wikipedia:"Following the resolution of initial teething problems – in particular an ejection seat that killed the first 12 pilots to eject from the aircraft".

    Hate those minor glitches......

  5. Former President George W. Bush was a F-102 pilot.

    1. And from what I've read and been told, it wasn't an easy aircraft to fly. Took skill and brains.

    2. Perhaps Dave will stop by and give us the skinny.

  6. Convair. Great airplanes, pathetic management.

    1. They made the Mighty PB4Y! I believe the USAAF used it as well, but I don't know what they called it.

    2. I can't find any reference to the Air Force using the PB4Y (which was derived from the B-24 Liberator, the Air Force used a LOT of those). I actually worked with a guy back in the day who flew the Privateer.

    3. The only differences between a PB4Y-1 and a B-24 was the paint job, the onboard electronics, and the ERCO 250 BH ball turret in the nose. Now the PB4Y-2 was another breed of cat, 7 feet longer, non turbocharged engines, single tail, wired and pyloned for Bats, etc. I think the USAAF had just one of them, which they called the B-24N

    4. You inspired me to do some more digging and I found this at Joe Baugher's site

      The PB4Y-1 was a navalized version of the USAAF B-24. It had its origin in a deal cut in mid-1942 between the Navy and the USAAF. The Navy was anxious to acquire a long-range, land-based heavy maritime reconnaissance and patrol aircraft capable of carrying a substantial bombload, but the USAAF had always resisted what it perceived as an encroachment into its jealously-guarded land-based bomber program. However, the USAAF needed an aircraft plant to manufacture its next generation of heavy bombers, the B-29 Superfortress. It just so happened that the Navy owned a plant at Renton, Washington, which was at that time being operated by Boeing for the manufacture of the PBB-1 Sea Ranger twin-engined patrol flying boat. The Army proposed that the Navy cancel the Sea Ranger program and turn over the Renton factory to them for B-29 production. In exchange, the USAAF would get out of the antisubmarine warfare business and would drop its objections to the Navy's operation of land-based bombers. The Navy would get "navalized" B-24 Liberators, B-25 Mitchells, and B-34/B-37 Venturas for use in maritime reconnaissance and antisubmarine warfare. The Navy readily agreed to this arrangement.

      The navalized Liberator was assigned the designation PB4Y-1. The initial PB4Y-1s were essentially B-24Ds delivered to the Navy with very little change and assigned Navy Bureau of Aeronautics serial numbers. They were drawn from a variety of B-24D block numbers.

      Later Navy Liberators were based on the B-24G, J, L, and M versions, with their factory-installed Consolidated A-6A/B or Emerson A-15 nose turrets, although some of them had ERCO turrets installed at the factory. However, they retained the same naval designation of PB4Y-1 as the initial planes based on the B-24D. All PB4Y-1s had Martin A-3 upper turrets and Consolidated A-6A/B tail turrets.

      In service, several B-24D-based PB4Y-1s were retrofitted with ERCO (Engineering and Research Company) ball turrets in their noses. This ball turret had originally been designed for the now-cancelled Boeing XPBB-1 Sea Ranger patrol bomber. The ERCO ball turret was essentially spherical whereas the earlier Consolidated or Emerson turrets were essentially cylindrical.

      Good stuff, thanks Scott!

  7. Selfridge was our very first AF Base. I was in the Air Force (kinda) at the time and used the resources available to those like us to see what was on offer at the place my folks were moving to. It was all Darts. It was also all out-of-date because when I showed up there a few months later there wasn't a Dart to be seen. SANG B is an interesting place. It's the only U.S. military airbase I've ever been to that doesn't have at least one plane on a stick at the gate or anywhere on base. That might have changed. They've had a good 32 years to find one and stuff and mount it since last I roamed that place.

    1. Well, there's a Military Air Museum just north of base. The overhead on the map indicates a number of aircraft, including a Dart and a Dagger. Seems to be a sweet little aircraft selection, something to put on the "must see" list the next time I'm in Michigan.

      I'll betcha the winters were fun at Selfridge, weren't they?

    2. The winters were cold and cold. Amusing though every Spring when the USCG had to helicopter the ice fishers off the break away ice flows in Lake St. Clair. The summers were mostly flies.

    3. Cold in the winter, flies in the summer. Sounds like Siberia.

  8. 90146 launching the AIR-2 is the one in Fresno. Zoom out then back in for the view.,-119.7138637,3a,15y,-27.92h,88.62t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sgRLfX5tPMXhKCGT8rBJRQg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

    1. Wow! So it is! That's pretty cool. Thanks SL!

  9. Another ultra cool Convair Delta was the B-58. In my misspent ute I thought the Deuce and the Six were shiny and all, but the Hustler was the real deal. Pretty amazing what that 50's era jet could do. Same has to be said for the other two of course, but they were ADC, and the Hustler was fangs out offensive. I was a big fan of offensive. Still am I guess.

    There's a very interesting B-58 novel written by Philip Rowe, a former Hustler DSO, called "At the Klaxon's Call." Only a buck and a quarter on Kindle. Rowe had quite an interesting career and also wrote about crewing B-52's and RF-4C's.

    The Hustler played the part of the "Vindicator Bomber" in the movie Fail Safe. Didn't really care for the movie but there's a great few seconds of Hustlers taking off in AB at night. Later, when President Fonda orders fighters to shoot down the bomber that's pressed, they show a flight of four fighters composed of one Deuce, one Six, a Hun, a pair of 104's, and a Voodoo. Gives me a chuckle. Better than all the dramatic anti-war whining though.

    1. I did a Flyby featuring the B-58 a while back. I'll have to root through the archives for that. (Blogger's "search" capability will look for the search text in the comments, not the body of the post. Bloody stupid if you ask me. Search used to work as one would expect it to. The Naviguessor, a software/computer genius says one of the bad things about Google is that their programmers, while brilliant, are undisciplined tinkerers. In other words, they'll "fix" things that aren't broken.


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