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 COnvair F-102A Delta Dagger
_Crew Chief: Ken Roberts / 317th FIS Assoc.

Faced with the new threat of a Soviet long range bomber attack aimed at American soil, the USAF requested design proposals from US Airplane Companies for an supersonic interceptor able to reach an altitude of 50,000 ft in four minutes, that could be in service by 1954. On September 11, 1951 Convair's proposal, the YF-102A was chosen for the program named the “1954 Interceptor”. Based on the first powered delta winged aircraft, the XF-92A, the Delta Dagger became the Worlds first delta winged combat aircraft, the first all weather Interceptor capable of supersonic speeds in level flight, and the first aircraft designed with an all missile armament.

The YF-102 entered a extensive testing program after its madden flight on October 24, 1953, in the first months of testing the YF-102 design was found to be limited to subsonic speeds. This problem was corrected by reducing drag using a design concept called area-rule; this feature gave the latter F-102s their characteristic “wasp-waist” or “Coke bottle” shape. The newly designed YF-102A dubbed the “Hot Rod” flew for the first time on December 20, 1954.

  The F-102A entered service with ADC’s 327th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, George AFB, CA on May 1, 1956, becoming the first supersonic squadron in the Command. On December 13, 1956 317th FIS became the first of the McChord based 325th Fighter Wing's fighter squadrons to go "supersonic" with the delivery of a TF-102A by Squadron commander Col. Henry L. Crouch. On March 2, 1957 the 318th FIS replaced its F-86D's with factory fresh F-102A's flown to the base by Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Charles "Kit" Carson, Maj. Chester Rese and Capt. Gene Rogge.

During 1957 the 317th FIS was named the Air Forces Best Fighter Squadron, by wining the 1956 Hughes Trophy, their excellent performance made the squadron a valuable commodity. In a effort to improve the defense of the Northern approaches of North America, personnel and aircraft of the 317th FIS and another F-102 squadron based in Michigan were relocated to Elmendorf & Ladd AFB, Alaska replacing five Alaskan Air Command Northrop F-89D Scorpion Squadrons. As the 317th completed its move to Alaska, the 64th FIS flying F-89's at Elmendorf stood up at McChord converting into the F-102. 

F-102's flew from McChord with the 325th FW's 64th FIS & 318th FIS until 1960. After the 318th's conversion to the F-106 in March 1960, the 64th moved its operations to Paine AFB, WA, ending the four year F-102 era at McChord.  With it's move the 64th would also join the 326th  Fighter Group also based at Paine AFB, one year later the 57th Fighter Group would replace the 326th FG at Paine.

In early 1966 the 64th was selected to move to Clark AB, in the Philippines to boost the F-102 inventory in the Pacific region, in preparation for their move, F-102's from the 64th FIS would receive in-flight refueling capability and a Southeast Asia camouflage scheme. In June 1966 during a project code named "Hot Spice", F-102's from the 64th, would make the flight to Clark AB and officially becoming a part of the Pacific Air Force's F-102 force. The 64th FIS "Scorpions" discontinued their alert commitments in Southeast Asia and was inactivated on 15 November 1969. 

 In all 43 Air Force squadrons flew the F-102 until 1973, ANG received its first Delta Dagger in 1960 with the last unit, the 199th FIS Hawaii ANG, retiring their last aircraft in October 1976. Ex USAF F-102s were also acquired by the Air Forces of Greece and Turkey.

In 1973, the USAF decided to convert surplus F-102As into low-cost, supersonic target drones that could simulate the performance of enemy aircraft in aerial combat in all 213 Daggers were converted in the “Pave Duce” program. The last PQM-102 was destroyed on June 30 1986.    

  • TYPE: Single- seat  All – weather supersonic Interceptor

  • POWER: One Pratt & Whitney J57-P-23 two shaft afterburning turbojet w / 17,200 lb thrust

  • SPEED: 825 mph ( Mach 1.25 )     

  • RANGE: 1,718 miles  (with 2234 gal internal & external fuel )

  • SERVICE CEILING: 54,000 mi

  • WEIGHT: Empty 19,350 lbs ; Combat 25,262 lbs ; Max T/O 31,276 lbs.    

  • DIMENSIONS: Span 38 ft. 1 in,  Length 68 ft. 4 in, Height  21 ft. 2 in.   

  • ARMAMENT: 24 or 12 unguided 2.75 inch rockets (inside missile bay doors) and 6 guided missiles which consists of  three AIM-4E/ F  Falcon Radar Guided & three AIM-4C/D/F Falcon Heat-Seeking Air to Air Missiles, can be mixed with  AIM-26B Falcon Air to Air missile's) capable of carrying both Nuclear or conventional warheads. 

  • CREW: One (F-102A), two (TF-102A)

  • PRODUCTION TOTALS: 10 (YF-102), 4 (YF-102A), 875 (F-102A), 111 (TF-102A) 

  • COST: $1,184,000.00 

  • McCHORD BASED UNITS: 317th FIS (1956-1957),  318 FIS (1957-1960), 64th FIS (1957-1960)    -  25th AD Units (not based at McChord) Active- 460th FIS Portland IAP, OR  (1958-1966), 498th FIS Geiger Fld, WA   (1957-1959)  - Air National Guard - 116th FIS Geiger Fld, WA (1965-1969), 123d FIS Portland MAP, OR.  

F-102A S/N 56-1515

A F-106A Delta Dart from McChord's 318th FIS and a CFB Comox based CF-101B Voodoo from the 409th FS fly in formation over Mt. Rainer, WA with the Museum's F-102A (center) during it's assignment with the 64th FIS, Paine AFB, WA. The aircraft would later receive in-flight refueling capability in preparation for the types use in the Vietnam War.


Completed by Convair, a Division of the General Dynamics Corporation.  



To 11th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Duluth IAP, MN 
  (Air Defense Command)  


To 64th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron

  (Air Defense Command)  



To 326th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Richards-Gebaur AFB, MS 
  (Air Defense Command)  


To 4780th Air Defense Wing (Training), 73d Air Division, Tyndall AFB, FL  

(Air Defense Command)  



To 146th Fighter-Interceptor Sq, 112th Fighter-Interceptor Group, Greater Pittsburgh AP, PA

(Air National Guard) 

09 APRIL 1998

To Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center (MASDC)


 27 OCTOBER  2002

To McChord AFB, WA for restoration (replacing s/n 57-0858)

(United States Air Force Museum Program)

Website provided and maintained by:
The McChord Air Museum Foundation
P.O. Box 4205
McChord AFB, WA. 98438-0205
e-mail - mamfound@mcchordairmuseum.org