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800px-F-106A Chase Dart

A Delta Dart in flight

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was an extreme redesign of the F-102 Delta Dagger. While it looked similar on the outside, the inside was redesigned immensely. It retired from USAF service in 1988, while a handful were used by NASA until 1998.


Known to the company as the Model 8-24, the first order for the aircraft was for seventeen examples, ordered in November 1955 as the F-102B. Subsequent changes in the official requirement, calling for an aircraft capable of all weather interception within 430 miles (692 km) at altitudes up to 70,000 ft (21,335 m), led to adoption of the F-106 designation on 17th June 1956.[1]

The first trials aircraft began flying on 26 December 1956, the type entering service with USAF Air Defence Command in July 1959. When production of the Delta Dart was completed in July 1961, 277 F106As had been built, together with 63 fully operational two seat F-106B combat training aircraft. A total of 13 squadrons operated the type until their withdrawal from USAF service in August 1988, with final operations being flown by units of the Air National Guard (ANG).[2]

Known Operators[]

  • 5th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
  • 87th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
  • 125th Fighter Interceptor Group, Florida ANG
  • 194th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, California ANG
  • 460th Fighter Interceptor Squadron[2]


  • Length: 70.7 ft
  • Wing Span: 38.25 ft
  • Wing Area: 661.5 ft
  • Maximum Speed: Mach 2.23 (1,525 mph)
  • Rate of Climb: 29,000 ft/min

Differences from the F-102 Delta Dagger[]

There are a few ways to tell the difference between the two. One is the vertical tail: the Dagger's tail is in the shape of a right-triangle, while the Dart's stretches back slightly, making it larger. Second, the air intakes are different: the Dart's are much farther back behind the cockpit, while the Dagger's are below and slightly in front of the cockpit.



  1. World Aircraft Information Files Aviation Partwork. Midsummer Books Ltd. File 891 Sheet 40 (A-Z of Aircraft:C - Convair Model 8-24 (F-106 Delta Dart) to Convair Model 105 (L-13) )
  2. 2.0 2.1 Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. Salamander Books. 2001. ISBN 0 84065 269 1 Page 120