TF-102 Delta Dagger
President George W. Bush flew this plane twice during his service in the Texas Air National Guard.
The primary mission of the F-102 was to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft. It was the world’s first supersonic all-weather jet interceptor and the USAF’s first operational delta-wing aircraft. The F-102 made its initial flight on Oct. 24, 1953, and became operational with the Air Defense Command in 1956. At the peak of deployment in the late 1950s, F-102s equipped more than 25 ADC squadrons. Convair built 1,000 F-102s, 875 of which were F-102As. The USAF also bought 111 TF-102s as combat trainers with side-by-side seating. In a wartime situation, after electronic equipment on board the F-102 had located the enemy aircraft, the F-102’s radar would guide it into position for attack. At the proper moment, the electronic fire control system would automatically fire the F-102’s air-to-air rockets and missiles.
The TF-102A is a two-place, side-by-side trainer version of the F-102A and is designed for combat use, if conditions make such use necessary. The airplane is equipped with a radar fire control system and is powered by a J57-P-23 axial-flow turbojet engine with afterburner. The airplane is characterized by a large 60-degree delta wing and the absence of a conventional empennage. Later aircraft (S/N 56-2336 and on) are equipped with a modified wing (Case XX wing) which produces greater lift and increases performance. The Case XX wing may be distinguished from the wing on earlier airplanes (Case X wing) by the droop at the wing-tip. The delta wing is equipped with “elevons” which provide combination aileron and elevator action from conventional cockpit controls. All control surfaces are hydraulically actuated and incorporate and artificial feel system. The airplane is equipped with a pressurized cockpit and contains two ejection seats. Tricycle landing gear is utilized for takeoff and landing. The aft fuselage mounted speed brakes also serve as compartment doors for a drag chute. The six integral wing tanks are serviced by a single-point pressure refueling system and fuel usage is sequenced automatically to maintain desirable center of gravity.
- 28,978 lbs. to 32,104 lbs. based on various mission loading conditions
- 24 unguided 2.75-inch rockets and six guided missiles
- One Pratt & Whitney J57-P-23A of 10,200 lbs. thrust at military power and 16,000 lbs. thrust with afterburner
- Maximum Speed
- 646 mph at 38,000 ft.
- Cruising Speed
- 452 knots (.79 true Mach number) at 40,000 ft. clean configuration on optimum maximum endurance profile
Approx. 1,350 nautical miles using cruise-climb profile, two 230-gal. external drop tanks (dropped when empty), initial: 35,000 ft. final: 41,000 ft. at 32,104 lb. takeoff gross weight. at .80 Mach (460 knots TAS) in 3 hours with 15 minute time-to-climb allowance; (1,250 nm. in 2 hrs. 45 min. with 230 ext. tanks not dropped when empty or 960 nm. in 2 hrs. 7 min. with no ext. tanks)
- Service Ceiling
- 55,000 ft.
- 38 ft. 1.6 in.
- 63 ft. 4.3 in. (including pitot boom)
- 21 ft. 2.25 in.
- 14 ft. 2.25 in.
The Fort Worth Aviation Museum’s TF-102 is two-seat version of the F-102 Delta Dagger Air Force serial number 56-2337. The aircraft was constructed by Convair in San Diego, California. The cockpit portion was actually constructed in Fort Worth and shipped to San Diego. The aircraft was delivered to the Air Force on January 2, 1958, and assigned to the Air Defense Command, 327th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at George AFB, California, although it was deployed to Tyndall AFB in Florida at the time. In July 1958, the unit moved to Thule AB in Greenland. In March 1960, the aircraft was assigned to the 382nd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, who was then deployed to Myrtle Beach AFB, in South Carolina. In September 1960, the aircraft went to the Air Training Command’s 3555th Flying Training Wing, Perrin AFB in Sherman, Texas. In July 1962, the aircraft was returned to the Air Defense Command and assigned to the 4780th Air Defense Wing at Perrin AFB
who was deployed to Tyndall AFB in Florida at the time. In November 1969, the aircraft was assigned to the Air National Guard’s 147th Fighter Group at Ellington Field, Houston, Texas. It was while in Houston, that President George W. Bush flew this aircraft on three occasions. In February 1971, the aircraft was retired and transferred to museum duty.