Development of the Delta Dart began in 1955 as the F-102B. Originally seen as an upgrade to the earlier design the number of changes soon grew so large that the new designation F-106 was assigned to the aircraft. Changes included a virtually new fuselage, that was both wider and longer, a new engine, redesigned tail and rudder, and relocated engine intakes. The first Delta Dart flew for the first time in December 1956 and the first aircraft entered service in 1959. The Delta Dart’s guidance and fire control system are capable of flying the aircraft in all phases of a mission except take-off and landing. Essentially the pilot could take-off, and then let the computers fly the plane to the proper interception point where it would fire the planes missiles at the target and then return to base where the pilot would take over and land the plane. A total of 277 single seat and 63 two-seat F-106s were built. The F-106 flew its last mission for the Air National Guard in 1988.
By kjfitz @ 2007-11-22 13:14:35