The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was an American interceptor aircraft constructed in the late 1950s

Introduce

In the 1950s, The US Air Force requested design proposals from aviation manufacturers for a supersonic interceptor in the face of the new threat of a Soviet long-range bomber attack aimed at American soil.

Convair’s proposal, the YF-102A, was selected by the Air Force on September 11, 1951. Based on the first powered delta winged aircraft, the XF-92A, the Delta Dagger became the first all-weather Interceptor capable of level flight supersonic speeds, and the first aircraft designed with all-missile weaponry.

Convair F-102 Delta Dagger
Convair F-102 Delta Dagger

Design

Outwardly, due to its sharp clean lines and single-minded purpose, the F-102 exuded speed. The fuselage was long and slim with a nose cone assembly set at the back of a cockpit. The single engine aspired intakes were on either side of the walls of the cockpit to which the fuselage ran the entire distance to the rear, capped by the exhaust ring of the engine.

The configuration of the delta wing was set on either side of the rounded fuselage, heavily swept along the leading edges and straight along the trailing edges, the two edges meeting at outboard points. A single large vertical tail fin, which was essentially a third triangle surface ending in a clipped tip, capped the spine of the fuselage.

Powerplant

The Convair F-102 was powered by a Pratt & Whitney J57-P-25 afterburning turbojet engine, producing 52 kN of dry thrust, and 76 kN with afterburner.

The aircraft can reach a top speed of 1,328 km/h, a range of 2,170 km, a service ceiling of 16,300 m, and a rate of climb of 66 m/s.

Armament

The F-102 was equipped as an interceptor with air-to-air ordnance designed to take down the large marauding Soviet bombers. It was possible to carry a total of six missiles on board, largely a mix of semi-active radar homing (the AIM-4A Falcon) and infrared homing (the AIM-4C Falcon) guidance types to cover the two most likely interception target scenarios.

The F-102 was later cleared for the fielding of the AIM-26A Nuclear Falcon missile in its operational service, which expanded its deterrent nature with the Soviets.

Specifications

(Source: Wikipedia)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 68 ft 4 in (20.83 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 1 in (11.61 m)
  • Height: 21 ft 2.5 in (6.464 m)
  • Wing area: 695 sq ft (64.6 m2) conically cambered wing

661.5 sq ft (61.46 m2) YF-102

  • Airfoil: NACA 0004-65 mod
  • Empty weight: 19,350 lb (8,777 kg)
  • Gross weight: 24,494 lb (11,110 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 31,500 lb (14,288 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 1,085 US gal (903 imp gal; 4,110 l) internal + 2x 215 US gal (179 imp gal; 810 l) drop tanks
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney J57-P-25 afterburning turbojet engine, 11,700 lbf (52 kN) thrust dry, 17,000 lbf (76 kN) with afterburner

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 825 mph (1,328 km/h, 717 kn) at 40,000 ft (12,192 m)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.25
  • Range: 1,350 mi (2,170 km, 1,170 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 53,400 ft (16,300 m)
  • Rate of climb: 13,000 ft/min (66 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 35 lb/sq ft (170 kg/m2)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.7

Armament

  • Rockets: 24 × 2.75 in (70 mm) FFAR (Folding Fin Aerial Rocket) unguided rockets in missile bay doors
  • Missiles:

Avionics

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