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Engine Start - F-106 Farewell McClellan AFB 1986

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This Day In Aviation History

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was a supersonic, all-weather delta wing interceptor aircraft of the United States Air Force from the 1960s through 1988. Referred to as the "Ultimate Interceptor" it was the last dedicated interceptor in USAF to date. Originally envisioned as an advanced derivative of the F-102A Delta Dagger and given the designation F-102B, the "Ultimate Interceptor", as it was known, entailed such extensive changes that in June, 1956, thsu the designation was changed. It was designed from the ground up as an Interceptor and nothing but an interceptor. Originally designated the F-102B, it was re-designated due to it's extensive structural changes and the more powerful Pratt & Whitney J75 engine. The single seat SIX first flew on December 26, 1956, was delivered to and entered operational service with the US Air Force (USAF) in May 1959 and achieved initial operational capability in October, 1959. The two-seat B-model SIX made its maiden flight on April 9, 1958, achieved initial operational capability in July 1960, and retained the full combat capability. All Delta Dart production ended in late 1960 with a total of 277 A Models and 63 B Models being built at a cost of about $5 million each.


As the Darts left service they went to AMARC, some went twice, before and after flying and surviving as target Drones. Some AMARC surviving sixes are on static display, some were sent to the ocean floor as artificial reefs, others were used by NASA for special missions. As of Sep 2016 there is only one SIX left at AMARG 59-0130. Hopefully some museum will pick it up and save her.


Luckily some of the F-106's were saved and sit in museums. While there are a few that have not yet been on display, such as those purchased from the El Paso deal, they are still NOT in the boneyard, so that's a goodthing. Most of the museums maintain the aircraft in its legitimate Tail Number, while others repaint them to reflect an aircraft of the area or base it's on display at.


I am always looking for contributions of photos. data, stories -- anything Delta Dart related to add to the site or it's photo galleries. I always include credits for those contributions and will be sensitive to what information you might want to hide. If you have anything about the SIX whatsoever that you would like to contribute so I can include it here, please use the Contact button below and let me know. Usually emialing me is the best way to share things with me, although many have snail-mailed me as well.

Speaking of contributions I'm sure you have noticed the Donations button on the site. This is my personal site, a hobby to keep the memory and history of the Delta Dart alive. I make no money off of it, and it is not funded to operate other than my me. This includes the Forums, which I spend money on monthly to keep the ADs off and maintain increased storage space. So -- yea, I added a Donations button for anyone who may wish to contribute a couple bucks here or there to help.


The F-106 Delta Dart participated in many exercises spanning North America and Oversees. Here are a few:
  • Amalgam Chief, Elmendorf AFB, AK
  • Checkered Flag, Tyndall AFB, FL
  • Cold Shoes, __________
  • College Dart, , Air Superiority Tactices Training, Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) as Aggressors
  • College Shaft, Bear Intercept Missions, Iceland
  • Combat Archer, Tyndall AFB, FL
  • Combat Pike, Tyndall AFB, FL (Weapons-Firing Exercise)
  • Copper Flag, Tyndall AFB, FL
  • Desert Dart, Yuma AZ, Yuma Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS)
  • Federal Virgo, Key West Naval Air Station (NAS), FL
  • Giant Voice, Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Green Flag, Burlington, VT
  • Maple Flag, Cold Lake, Canada
  • Miramar Naval Air Station, ‎San Diego, CA
  • NATO Exercise, Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada
  • Northern Edge, _______, AK
  • Operation Combat 'Red' Fox, Osan AB, ROK
  • Operation White Shoes, Elmendorf AFB, AK
  • Red Flag, Nellis AFB, NV
  • Sea Strike 1979, Davis Monthan AFB, Az
  • Top Gun, Miramar Naval Air Station (NAS), CA
  • Operation Sky Shield 1962
  • William Tell Weapons Meet, Tyndal AFB, FL. Air Intercept Missile Evaluation (Aimval) test was established.