Home / Convair Advanced F-106 Proposals [54]

F-106X

The Convair F-106X, Model 8-28/8-29, was a 1956 design study for a Delta Dart follow-on that envisaged an interceptor with a canard layout 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 would be extremely advanced for its time with Mach 5 performance envisaged. The project was later re-designated F-106C/D, 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, but the F-106C/D project was cancelled on 23 September 1958.

Two production F-106A's 57-0239 and 57-0240 were modified, after actual cancellation of the Model 8-28/29 project, to test a bigger radar housing for the new 40” radar by adding a 5’ nose extension. These F-106A’s were re-designated F-106C. Only 57-0239 actually flew, making 10 flights with this new nose in 1959. The plane was later destroyed in fatigue tests. 57-0240 however, never flew and eventually reverted to standard F-106A configuration.

Sky Scorcher

In a separate Convair effort to the Convair F-106X, Model 8-28/8-29 project in 1956, was another concept called the Convair Advanced F-106, which never officially had a model number assigned although were referred to as F-106E/F. It was proposed to support the Sky Scorcher Missile Project proposed by the Convair Division of General Dynamics to the USAF in 1956. Sky Scorcher was a very large missile, which was proposed to be capable of carrying a thermonuclear warhead with a yield of two megatons. The oversized warhead would be used against attacking formations of supersonic bombers; it was anticipated that fourteen such initiations, at a distance of approximately 460 miles (740 km) from the bombers' target, would be sufficient to disrupt an attack. Proposed to carry this missile was a force of 80 of the enlarged version Convair Advanced F-106 Delta Dart interceptor, which had, at the time, not yet entered flight testing even in its baseline form. The Advanced F-106 would have a modified weapons bay to carry the Sky Scorcher missile and an infra-red seeker at the top of the vertical fin. Despite the Convair sales pitch and the anticipated effectiveness of the weapon, the Air Force was unenthusiastic about the concept; aside from the expense of developing the aircraft and weapon. The Sky Scorcher missile also suffered from the fact that there would be significant effects on the ground below the location of an air-burst of a multi-megaton nuclear warhead. As a result, the project was abandoned before any significant work was undertaken. During all this however, Convair continued with design and wind tunnel tests for this Advanced F-106, which they also dubbed Sky Scorcher. They performed Inlet Wind Tunnel Tests from 1957 and 1958 in the NASA wind tunnels as seen at http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/1251_Models_D-G#F-106_Inlet