Convair F-106C/D

Last revised December 27, 2007






The F-106X (Model 8-28/8-29) was a 1956 design study for a Delta Dart follow-on. This study envisaged an interceptor with a canard layout that was powered by a JT4B-22 turbojet fed by rectangular air intakes. It was envisaged as an alternative to the Lockheed YF-12, 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 project was extremely advanced for its time--some references state that a Mach 5 performance was envisaged. However, this is probably vastly over-optimistic. Mach 3 is probably more like it--although still advanced for the time.

The project was later redesignated 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 September 23, 1958.

While contemplating the cancellation of the Avro Arrow project, the Canadian government briefly considered the possibility of purchasing the F-106C/D. However, the USAF cancelled the F-106C/D before this idea could be pursued any further. After the eventual cancellation of the Arrow program in February of 1959, the Canadian government decided to acquire the CF-101 Voodoo instead.

Following the cancellation of the Model 8-28/29 project, two production F-106As (57-239 and 57-240) were modified to test the new radar housing with a five-foot nose extension. They were redesignated F-106C. Only 57-239 actually flew, and made ten flights with this new nose in 1959. The plane was later destroyed in fatigue tests. 57-240 eventually reverted to standard F-106A configuration.

Sources:


  1. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  2. The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion, 1987.

  3. Fighters of the United States Air Force, Robert F. Dorr and David Donald, Temple Press Aerospace, 1990.

  4. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

  5. Post-World War II Fighters, 1945-1973, Marcelle Size Knaack, Office of Air Force History, 1986.

  6. General Dynamics Aircraft and their Predecessors, John Wegg, Naval Institute Press, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  7. Convair F-106 Delta Dart, Robert F. Dorr, Wings of Fame, Vol 12, 1998

  8. E-mail from Martin Keenan on Canadian consideration of F-106C/D.

  9. E-mail from Brad Tyler on a Mach 5 performance being overly optimistic.