F-106 Delta Dart FAQ

Trivia & Frequently Asked Questions


* 11th FIS: while Harrison Thyng was there 1960-61 - all jets

* 27th FIS: had the one Bus 80900 "Flying without feathers is not easy" and also had Roger Codger

* 48th FIS: a couple while Stultz was there c.1980s (Thunderchicken)

* 87th FIS: WT 72 and 74 competition jets. The Red Schlitz Bull clone does not count- that became a standardized crew block

* 171st FIS: half a dozen 75-78

* 119th FIS: the two Don Spering specials - Kittyhawk Flyer and Last Six

In 1967 in-flight refueling capability was added to the F-106 with an IFR (In-flight Fuel Receptical) on top of the fueslage just aft of the cockpit. The mod took a few years to complete across the entire fleet of aircraft. Some of the first aircraft to receive the IFR mod were 318th jets at McChord. Partly because of this, the 318th was selected to fly to Korea during the Pueblo incident in Jan 1968, which required used of in-flight refueling.
REF: F-106 Fuel System


The F-106 Delta Dart served primarily in the continental United States, in Alaska and in Canada, and while never permenantly assigned to any overseas location, did serve short TDY spells, deployments and special appearances around the world. The the Delta Dart however, never saw any combat.

Korea: Several F-106 FIS units deployed to sit Alert at Osan AB, South Korea as part of the Korean buildup to support two distinct actions of the USS Pueblo' and EC-121 Shoot-down incidents. They sat Alert following the USS Pueblo incident and to fly shotgun for the EC-121 Constellation's after one got shot down by North Korea on 15 Apr 1969. The first F-106's deployed from the 318th FIS McChord AFB on 22 Mar 1968, conducting in flight refueling en route, the first such refueling of F-106's. The last unit to serve in Korea was the 95th FIS which departed Korea on 1 May 1970. In between those dates (and units) also served the 48th, 71st and 94th FIS'.

Germany: September 1975, 5th FIS deployed 7 F-106's tail numbers F-106A 56-0460, 59-0005, 59-0010, 59-0015, 59-0019, 59-0063, F106B 58-0901 to Hahn AB, Germany (Europe) to participate in the NATO exercise Autumn Forge/Cold Fire '75, 4 to 27 September 1975.

Iceland: The 87th FIS Red Bulls deployed to Keflavik Iceland in April 1978 to assisted the 57th FIS with Alert Duties as that unit transitioned from F-4Cs to F-4Es.

France: Two F-106's deployed from the 48th FIS for displayd at the 25th Paris Air Show, June 1963.  F-106A 59-0136 was on display, while F-106A 59-0124 was the spare.

Panama: Spring 1974, 318th FIS deployed F-106's to Howard AFB in the Panama Canal Zone for Exercise Blackhawk '74

Canada: CFB Bagotvile Quebec, CFB Goose Bay Labrador, CFB Cold Lake, CFB Moose Jaw

REF: F-106 History

Originally these external wing tanks were 230-gallon tanks, at least that's what they were always referred to although they were actually 227 gallons, which were limited to about Mach 1.25, although they were called sub-sonic tanks. Sometime around 1967 these were replaced/upgraded with the know well known 360-gallon supersonic tanks rated to Mach 2.0. These tanks became a 'fixture' on the F-106 as they almost always flew with them since these tanks did not limit the aircrafts performance under Mach 2. Some mission types that did not fly with the external tanks were Aerial Combat Tactics (ACT fighter vs.fighter) missions, previously called Aerial Combat Maneuvering (ACM), and Functional Check Flight's (FCF). Even the Alert birds carried external 360 tanks.

REF: F-106 Fuel System

According to F-106 pilot Bruce Gordon, he believes the elevon split was to give some flexibility as the elevon went up and down in turbulence. It might have relieved pressures on the elevon hinges.

In addition are complex explanations when getting into the transonic zone and the adverse directional movement of elevons.

REF: Flight Controls

According to John Hughes: "The missile electronics are "locked on" the target while the missile is internal. The timing of the firing sequence can change a little, but basically, here's how it goes:
  -  Doors open
  -  +1 sec, rails extend
  -  +1.0-1.5 sec, parameter squibs fire followed immediately by rocket motor ignition
  -  about 2 seconds later rails retract
  -  1 second after that, doors close.
So, the entire sequence from "doors open to doors close" is around 6.0 to 6.5 seconds. Here's a WSEM tape, maybe it'll be clear enough to see the sequence, each vertical solid line is 0.5 seconds."

REF: Hughes AIM-4F and AIM-4G

Simply put: The wing quits flying as the center of lift moves behind it while the tail continues to fly.

Slightly more complexly: In supersonic aircraft everything in the breeze generates lift based on surface area and AOA, including the fuselage. The wing now generates its lift around a 50% MAC (Mean Aerodynamic Chord) point which is considerably further aft than 25% MAC and thus there isn't enough down force from the tail at its subsonic position to keep the nose from falling through. If you trim the whole horizontal stabilizer to bring the pitch moments back in balance and succeed in bringing up the nose and the aircraft then decelerates to subsonic, there will then be a pitch up effect.

As Robert Wegeman (F-106 Crew Chief) explains: The deceleration from supersonic to transonic with stick forces becoming much more effective capable of generating over "G" forces in that sudden reduced to transonic speed regime.

There were 2 different Case Type Wingtips on the F-106: Case 14 and Case 29.

The Case 14 and Case 29 wings both incorporate the strake-free wing fence - the notch in the leading edge that replaced the wing fences.

The difference between Case 14 and Case 29 wings was in leading edge camber and in the wing tips where the Case 14 wings had an almost imperceptible (from a distance) upward flare at the rear of the wing tips and were end tipped slightly differently.

The early 1956 models had these Case 14 wings. All subsequant aircraft had Case 29 wings where you could see the upward flare at the rear of the wing tips.

The original F-106 canopy with the two glass panels on the sides and the metal bar down the middle on top was a carry-over design from the F-102.  Its design however was found to restrict pilots vision, so to improve visibility the design was changed and a one-piece bubble canopy replaced it.  The last bubble canopy replacement mod was completed in early 1973 prior to the F-106's being transfer to ANG duty. Some other mods were made as the aircraft rotated through the depot at McClellan AFB Sacramento, CA.  Some were accomplished on site during PUP upgrades.


The 318 vs. 498 Tail Flash Saga by Ernie White (Edit by Pat McGee)
There has been a lot of talk over the years about the 318th FIS Compass Rose aka Northstar tail flash and whether it was ever also on 498th jets after moving to McChord. Initially many believed that during the time the 498th was co-located with the 318th FIS at McChord they had no tail flash. As such, any F-106 found with either an early version or later version of the 318th style tail flash, was in fact a 318th jet. This does not seem to be the case. During the transition from Geiger Field to McChord AFB, the 498th swapped out their "1957" model F-106 jets with the 456th FIS, gaining a majority of "1959" models. This was accomplished to ensure the 325th FW, the host wing at McChord AFB, had a more common fleet to assist in maintenance, training, and etc. After things "settled" down following the move, the fleet was, once again, (slightly) reshuffled with the 318th and 498th, swapping tails [aircraft] between the squadrons with a majority of the ex 456 FIS fleet being assigned to the 498 FIS. With this transition, some of the jets with the 318th Compass Rose tail flash ended up serving with the 498th, and some of the "new" Sixes served with the 318th. I would consider the tail flash one that was approved for both F-106 units as a Wing tail flash, although haven't seen the design used for the 325th’s T-33's. During this time, the 325 FW ‘shield’ was applied to the left side of the aircraft (replacing the 318ths Green Dragon emblem on their jets). I would consider this another indication that the Compass Rose was truly a Wing tail flash during this era. From what I understand, no squadron insignias were applied to any McChord jets, except for the Sixes from the 318th that participated in William Tell. They were the only F-106's that wore squadron emblems during that period. Further compelling evidence can be seen on F-106 photo's in this gallery of 590009, 590131 and 590140, all of which served ONLY with the 498th Gieger Tigers at McChord, but all sporting the Compass Rose and 590009 and 590131 also sporting the 325th FW shield on the tails.

REF: 498th FIS Page / 318th FIS Page

"Idle Thrust Nozzle"
What wraps the engine exhaust cann is called the exhaust shroud and is separate from the motor itself. It encases the entire afterburner exhaust area and houses the exhaust eyelids, which open prior to the motor going into afterburner. In fact the reason for the 2 second delay between fullmil throttle and AB is to allow for the eyelids to open. If they didn't - - eyelids all over end of the runway, which we've seen happen. The actual shape and design of the shroud exhaust was to limit the massive motors idle thrust, which tended to blow everything everywhere on the ramp and while taxiing, thus Pratt Á Whitney designed this Idle Thrust Nozzle as part of the J75 P-17 engine. The original J75 P-9 did not have this.

REF: F-106 J75 P-17 Engine

Bruce Gordon was the QC officer for the 94th FIS they started Aerial Combat Maneuvering (ACM), later called Aerial Combat Tactics (ACT). The wing lights broke due to the flexing of the wings in high Gs. The light filaments broke due to vibrations. We replaced the lights, and the new lights did not break. The old lights were mounted on old seals which had become hard over time. New lights with fresh mountings did not break.

Robert Wegeman, crew chief with the 48th FIS, recalls if they were scheduled for heavy DACT periods the wingtip lenses and bulbs were swapped out for round 'steel plates' furing the missions.

F-106's returning from SM-ALC Depot at McClellan AFB, CA did not have the the black 'swoop' painted back on the nose of the aircraft where it met the radome. Depot Repaints starting around mid 1981 were all this way vs. Depot Repaints prior to this always included the curved swoop.

I wanna tell you something unique to the F-106 that I think you might enjoy knowing:

Take off, Climbing and Oxygen

The Six used afterburner for almost all takeoffs. The standard profile was to start the roll in Mil (full forward throttle) and then push the throttle outboard toward the left to lite the AB (afterburner). The jet quickly accelerated and we rotated the nose up at about 190 knots. After the jet took off and was climbing and rapidly accelerating, the AB was shut down at about 350 knots. The nose was pulled up at 400 knots and a rapid climb resulted as 400 knots was held in full mil power until we reached 0.93 mach - the ensuing climb was made holding the nose up to maintain 0.93 mach. At this rate the Six very rapidly climbed above 25,000 ft. where the time of useful consciousness was 4 seconds without supplemental oxygen. The climb continued to 40,000 or 41,000 ft.

This was the STANDARD profile, but we could very well have to keep the burner cooking and do the whole climb in AB even more quickly if we were being scrambled from alert and GCI needed us to get up fast, especially against a high altitude and/or supersonic target.

The Six’s pilot oxygen system used 100% oxygen, UNDER PRESSURE at all times and was used starting on taxi-out even before takeoff roll. This was very different for all other fighters that used “Diluter Demand” oxygen systems which added oxygen to ambient air as cockpit pressure dictated. But the Six cockpit air pressure declined so much more quickly in its very rapid climbs, that 100% (not diluted) oxygen was needed to prevent loss of consciousness.

-- Mark B Foxwell, USAF, LtCol (Ret)