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B-1B FLIGHT TEST CHASE PROGRAM

Contract Management Division, USAF Systems Command

by Marty J. Isham and Chief Jon May, NCOIC of Maintenance Palmdale CA
In memory of Erville 'Erv' G. Smalley, SMSgt, USAF Ret. for years of dedicated historical research with Marty Isham.

One of the last missions of the Convair F-106 Delta Dart's history was to participate in the B-1B Program.


Eight F-106's would be assigned between 10 Oct 1986 and 06 July 1990.

The first F-106B model, 57-2513 from Kelly AFB TX, arrived at Palmdale on 18 Oct 1986. Last to depart was F-106A 59-0061 on 06 July 1990 to AMARC. Jerry Roth, a F-106 crew chief, designed the distinctive eye catching tail flash. Chase flights were also flown out of Tinker AFB OK, the B-1B depot.

In March 1986 the Det 15 Contract Management Division (AFSC) was started to support the B-1B program contracted by Rockwell Inc. at plant 42 at Palmdale CA. In 1986 the B-1B flight test program was using F-4 Phantoms, F-111 Aardvarks and sometimes civilian T-38 Talons for acceptance and test flights. Workload constraints and increasing costs in using these aircraft was becoming a problem. A dedicated B-1B chase aircraft was needed and the F-106 was chosen.

Pilots
LtCol Bob Chamberlain
LtCol Brent Hedgpeth
Mar Jim Robbins
Gary Olin (Rockwell)
Ed Ford (Rockwell)
John Day (Rockwell)
Navigators
LtCol Larry Harjes
LtCol Jimmie Luttrell
LtCol Richard Fisher
Capt Alex Ivanchishin


Aircraft
57-2513 (B)
58-0795 (A)
59-0008 (A)
59-0060 (A)
59-0061 (A)
57-2535 (B)
57-2509 (B)
59-0149 (B)
Home
Kelly AFB
Kelly AFB
159th FIS
159th FIS
Kelly AFB
159th FIS
159th FIS
119th FIS
Arrived
10 Oct 86
30 Oct 86
12 Dec 86
24 Jan 87
06 Feb 87
03 Mar 87
23 Mar 87
02 Aug 88
To AMARC
25 June 90
03 Mar 87
18 Mar 87
27 Jun 90
06 July 90
03 Apr 89
24 May 90
14 Jun 90
To AMARC
25 June 90
03 Mar 87
18 Mar 87
27 Jun 90
06 July 90
03 Apr 89
24 May 90
14 Jun 90

Interesting Note:
The two different Tail Flash arts were created by Jerry Roth for the chase planes

Final Fate of the 8 Chase F-106 Delta Darts
  • 58-0795 converted to drone S/N AD180, shot down at Tyndall on its first pilotless drone mission by an AIM-7 missile on 11 May 1994
  • 59-0008 converted to drone S/N AD167, shot down at Tyndall on its seventh pilotless drone mission by an AIM-120 missile on 05 Nov 1998
  • 59-0060 converted to drone S/N AD127, shot down at Holloman on its third pilotless drone mission by an AIM-120 missile on 16 June 1995
  • 59-0061 converted to drone S/N AD156, shot down at Tyndall on its first pilotless drone mission by an AIM-9 missile on 03 Sept 1993
  • 57-2535 converted to drone S/N AD109, shot down at Tyndall on its third pilotless drone mission by an AIM-9 missile on 01 Sept 1993
  • 59-0149 converted to drone S/N AD261, shot down at Tyndall on its second pilotless drone mission by an AIM-120 missile on 06 Nov 1997
  • 57-2509 converted to drone S/N AD268, written off at Tyndall as being un-flyable after catching fire during pre-flight checks for its first pilotless drone mission. One of five other written off QF-106's from Tyndall and privately purchased by individual in El Paso TX.
  • 57-2513 returned to DM on 25 June 1990. Never converted to a drone or at least it never had a drone serial number painted on its nose, however it often flew in support of the drone program. In the Summer of 2004 it was put on display at the Yanks Museum

Links

Complete GALLERY HERE