F-106C/D Super Dart
The F-106X (Model 8-28/8-29) was a 1956 design study for a Delta Dart follow-on. With the XF-108 effectively dead, Convair attempted to modernize
the F-106 design. This study envisaged an interceptor with a canard layout that was powered by a JT4B-22 turbojet fed by rectangular air intakes.
It was envisaged as an alternative to the Lockheed YF-12 (later SR-71), and was to have had a fire control system with "look-down, shoot-down"
capability fed by a 40-inch radar dish.
The F-106X was extremely advanced for its time with Mach 5 performance envisaged by Convair. Carried over from the F-106, the only thing would have
been the basic delta design. A more powerful engine was to be mounted with redesigned intakes to account for the new engine. Canards were added on
the intakes and the cockpit was raised to improve visibility. The fire control systems were to be given a complete overhaul with the AN/ASG-18
previously developed for the XF-108.
Under the F-106X development project were the designated F-106C/D aircraft, with "C" being the single-seat version, the "D" being the two-seat
version. At one time the Air Force had considered acquiring 350 of these advanced interceptors with several attempts initiated to upgrade the
entire current F-106 fleet, but none were approve by Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara and the project was cancelled on 23 September 1958.
Later Sec. McNamara pushed through the F-4 program instead.
The F-106C/D project got as far as mounting a new nose on an F-106 to test the practicality of the design before the Model 8-28/29 project was
cancelled. Two production F-106A's; 57-0239 and 57-0240 were modified to test that new radar housing, which was a five-foot nose extension.
Only 57-0239 actually flew making 10 flights with this new nose in 1959. The plane was later destroyed in fatigue tests. 57-0240 eventually
reverted back to standard F-106A configuration, but never flew with the modified nose configuration.
F-106E/F Sky Scorcher
During the morning of the 20th of September (2000), McChord Museum was the stage for a pair of long awaited reunions. One gathering was for a group of men who served their proudly during the war in Korea, the 8th
Fighter-Bomber Wing. The other was between a pilot and his former mount, Colonel Joseph Rogers and the museums F-106 Delta Dart S/N 56-0459.
In the first weeks of December of 1959, the then Maj. Rogers and –0459 leapt into the skies of Edwards AFB CA. during “ Project Firewall “, The Project was a joint Convair - USAF’s attempt to break the World’s
Absolute Speed Record of 1483.84 mph set in the Soviet Ye-152-1, a modified MiG-21.
In two weeks of flying, Rogers piloted the F-106 to her limits. Unfortunately each flight was troubled by uncontrollable compressor stalls, causing violent yawing oscillations that nearly cost the Colonel his life.
On the 14 of December, after engine changes and adjustments to the aircraft proved to be unsuccessful in correcting the stalls, -0459 was pulled from the program leaving Col. Rogers attempt for the record in
In the early morning hours of the following day, another F-106A from the flight test fleet, S/N 56-0467 joined “ Project Firewall “ as a replacement for –0459 . Later that afternoon on his first flight in the
aircraft, Rogers easily flew the F-106 to a record breaking speed of 1525.95 . In fact –0467, flying with a stock engine, was still accelerating when exiting the official course boundaries !
For his record flight Col. Rogers was presented the Distinguished Flying Cross, the DeLavaulx Metal, and was the 25th recipient of the Thompson Trophy. Col. Rogers credits his record flight for his inclusion in
many of the top USAF aircraft test programs and for he being selected to command the Air Force’s largest squadron, the 317 FIS based in Alaska.
A exhibit depicting the story of the “ Firewall Project “ and Col. Rogers very interesting Air Force career is currently planned for the Museum Gallery. The McChord Air Museum Foundation would again like to thank
Col. Joe Rogers for his continued support to the project.
F-106J (Japan Version)
The Delta Dart was never exported to foreign air forces. There was a proposal for an F-106 version for Japan (F-106J) with an MG-10 fire control
system (the same one that was fitted to the F-102A Delta Dagger) and six Super Falcon missiles. It was also to have ground-attack capability, with
a pair of pylons underneath each wing capable of carrying bombs or fuel tanks. The Japanese sale never took place and several years later Japan
undertook manufacture of the F-4EJ Phantom.
A pair of F-106's were displayed at the 25th Paris Air Show in June of 1963, but no customers were forthcoming. Convair tried to interest Canada
in a Canadian version-not merely as in interceptor but also for the strike role. Nothing ever came of this idea. There were also plans for F-106
final assembly and production in Germany, but these plans never reached fruition.