Convair F-102A Delta Dagger (61032) as used by the United States Air Force (USAF) at the Military Aviation Museum, Kamp Zeist (the Netherlands)
The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was an American interceptor aircraft that was built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's air defenses in the late 1950s. Entering service in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept invading Soviet bomber fleets during the Cold War. Designed and manufactured by Convair, 1000 F-102s were built. A member of the Century Series, the F-102 was the first operational supersonic interceptor and delta-wing fighter of the USAF. It used an internal weapons bay to carry both guided missiles and rockets. As originally designed, it could not achieve Mach 1 supersonic flight until redesigned with area ruling. The F-102 replaced subsonic fighter types such as the Northrop F-89 Scorpion, and by the 1960s, it saw limited service in the Vietnam War in bomber escort and ground-attack roles. The F-102's official name, "Delta Dagger", was never used in common parlance, with the aircraft being universally known as the "Deuce." The TF-102 (two-seat training version) was known as the "Tub" because of its wider fuselage with side-by-side twin seating. The Air Defense Command had F-102 Delta Daggers in service in 1960 and the type continued to serve in large numbers with both Air Force and Air National Guard units well into the 1970s. George W. Bush, later President of the United States, flew the F-102 in the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group based at Ellington AFB in Houston, Texas as part of his
Texas Air National Guard service from 1968 to 1972. The F-102 left Unites States service in 1976, while the last QF-102A and
PQM-102B drone was expended in 1986. No F-102s remain in flyable condition today, although many can be seen at museums
or as permanent static displays at Air Force and Air National Guard installations.
This Convair F-102A Delta Dagger has a fake United States Air Force (USAF) registration 61032;
its previous identities include: 56-1052 (United States Air Force) and 61052 (Hellenic Air Force or Greek Air Force)
It flew from 1960 until 1969 with the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron of the US Air Force in Europe (USAFE) based at Soesterberg Air Base.