Aircraft Type: F-102A, S/N 54-1405, Delta Dagger, Convair
Number Built : The Air Force accepted a grand total of 1,000 F-102s. Of these, 889 were listed as F-102As, even though they included 2 prototypes, 8 early straight-fuselage, and 4 F-102A test aircraft. The remaining 111 were TF-102As. 87 were canceled.
Powerplant: One Pratt & Whitney J-57-23 two-shaft, afterburning turbojet, 17,200 lbs. of thrust.
Weight: Empty 28,600 lbs., Loaded 32,000 lbs., Maximum takeoff weight 32,000 lbs.
Dimensions: Wingspan 38’1″, Length 68’5″, Height 21’2″.
Performance: Maximum speed 825 MPH (Mach 1.1), Cruising speed 600 MPH, Service ceiling 54,000 feet.
Significance of Type
For an aircraft that was only to be an “interim” interceptor, the Deuce served a long and successful life and helped to deter the Soviets or any other enemy from sending bombers against the United States. The biggest drawback to the F-102 was its lack of speed. It was a supersonic aircraft, but only by a small margin. With external tanks attached, it was limited to Mach .95. Once the faster F-101Bs and F-106s became available, its days were numbered. Since it was a great advantage to get to the bombers as fast as possible, or catch them if necessary, speed was essential, and the relatively slow Deuce had to make way for the faster interceptors. The fact that it was built in larger numbers than the F-101B or F-106 was because of delays in getting the “ultim ate” F-106 into service, the minimal conventional armament carried by the F-101B, and the lack of funds to replace the F-102 on a one-for-one basis with the F-106 in particular. In the years the F-102 served in Vietnam, they most often stood alert for the air defense mission, but also flew some escort missions for B-52s
About Our F-102A, S/N 54-1405 : The Museum’s F-102 was manufactured by Convair, San Diego CA and delivered to the USAF on August 23, 1956. Below are the unit assignments of this aircraft:
August, 1956- To 327th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (ADC), George AFB, California
October, 1956- To San Antonio Air Material Area, Kelly AFB, Texas
March, 1958- To Convair, San Diego, California
June, 1958- To 14th Consolidated Maintenance Squadron, (ADC), Burlington MAP, Vermont
May, 1959- To San Antonio Air Material Area, Kelly AFB, Texas
September, 1959- To Mobile Air Material Area, Brookley AFB, Alabama
December, 1959- To 86th Fighter-Interceptor Wing (USAFE), Hahn AB Germany (deployments to Wheelus AB Libya and Bitburg AB Germany)
November, 1960- To 496th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (USAFE), Hahn AB Germany (deployments to Wheelus AB, Ramstein AB Germany and New Camp Amsterdam, Netherlands)
April, 1964- To 59th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (ADC), Goose AB, NF
May, 1964- To 4780th Air Defense Wing (ADC), Perrin AFB, Texas
July, 1966- To 115th Fighter Group (ANG), Truax Field, Madison, Wisconsin
April, 1970- Dropped from inventory by transfer to the Strategic Air & Space Museum