“DELTA” PROTECTION OF DEMOCRACY

World war II had just ended, and yesterday’s allies very quickly began to turn into bitter enemies. The coming era of atomic weapons and of high-speed means of delivery have forced American commanders to take a fresh look at air defense of the country. In August 1945, the United States was a competition for the creation of a supersonic interceptor capable of speed up to 1260 km/h and altitude of 15 km in 4 minutes. Agree requirements for those years — fantastic! Probably this request was based on the characteristics of the Me-163.

In October 1945 the firm “Konver” presented the project, the designation “Model 7-002”. The plane was supposed to equip ramjet (according to other sources—rocket) engine thrust 1675 kgs (+ 6 boosters with a thrust of 540 kgf) and a Delta wing sweep of 45°.
 
May 22, 1946 “Konver” recognized the winner of the competition and a month later signed the contract. Interceptor received the military code of the XP-92 (in 1948, changed to XP-92), and serial No. 46-682.
 
Chief designer Thomas M. Hemphill to save time and money decided to use components and assemblies from other aircraft. So, the main landing gear was borrowed from North American ri-1, bow front moved from the bell P-63, the engine and hydraulic system—Lockheed P-80, ejection seat and canopy—Konver with the experimental XP-81.
31 Oct 1947 at a plant in San Diego has completed construction of the prototype. After that, the glider was sent in a PASS (from 1 October 1958—NASA) for research in the wind tunnel. After purging, the aircraft returned to San Diego, where he installed a turbojet engine with centrifugal compressor Alisson J-33-A21 rod 1928 kgs.
 
F-102A in display at the National Museum of the U.S. air force (Dayton, Ohio )— photo USAF
 
F-102A in display at the National Museum of the U.S. air force (Dayton, Ohio ) — photo USAF
 
To test ХF-92 embarked on Muroc air force base (later Edwards) in April 1948, lifting the plane in the air took place on 9 June, and September 18 test pilot Sam Shannon made the first flight. Subsequently to the tests joined pilot bill Martin.
 
The initial phase of flight testing ended on August 26, 1949, revealed a number of problems, including extreme sensitivity of governments and the instability of the aircraft, as well as its “reluctance” to accelerate to M>0,9. And this despite the fact that the car is not carrying any payload. The US air force quickly lost interest in ХF-92.
 
However, the prototype aircraft (albeit not very well travelled) can be used as a flying laboratory to study the characteristics of the Delta wing and the scheme “tailless”. The car moved into the category of experimental, was awarded the cipher ХF-92A and referred for further work military test Ageru Charles E. and Frank K. Everest. Their main task was the recovery of the aircraft to supersonic. But as test pilots tried, all their attempts were in vain. More numbers M = 0.95 car to accelerate not wanted. Twice on the plane changed the engine, but it absolutely didn’t affect his ability to break the sound barrier.
 
During his flight career XF-92A made 112 flights a total duration of 68 h, which provided invaluable information about the features of a Delta wing.
 
The Project “Dragonfly”
 
While the XF-92 “learned” to fly, the military revised approaches to the development of advanced interceptor. In the early 1950s, was first formulated the concept not the actual aircraft, and weapons systems, which in addition to the carrier and weaponry consisted of weapon control system (including guided missiles “air—air”) and restore it on the target.
 
In the United States on a new concept built program the MX-1554 (1954 interceptor or Dragonfly — “dragonfly”), providing for the creation for 1954 supersonic interceptor with guided missiles and electronic control them. The fighter had to develop a supersonic speed, have a practical ceiling of 15 km, and the main thing—to catch all types of Intercontinental bombers of the USSR. The calculation was, of course, on perspective planes, which, in the opinion of American analysts, could appear on arms of the Soviet Union in the next 10 to 15 years. An important part of project MX-1554 was the fire control system MG-10. When in 1951 outline its General contours, was declared a competition to design a platform for it. It decided to take part in almost all firms, with the experience of building fighter jets. After six months in the competition were three participants who admitted to further work on project MX-1554. Of these, Lockheed withdrew from the race due to funding cuts. “Ripablik” six years developed avant-garde XF-103, but teletechnology to build a machine that would fly four times the speed of sound, and failed. Thus, the winner of the competition was “Konver”, the primacy of which was acknowledged on 11 September 1951 the Firm introduced the project “Model 8-80” (in the USAF was designated the XF-102), largely repeating the XP-92 (wing keel) only increased by 22%. To release nose piece for the installation of radar, air inlets placed on the sides of the fuselage. Weapons placed in vnutrifyuzelyazhnyh compartment which was just behind the nose strut. As the power plant of the first cars expected J40 turbojet promising company “Westinghouse”, which in the production process was replaced by a more powerful Wright J67 (a license copy of the Bristol “Olympus”). The design characteristics of the project looked fantastic: J67 engine, the interceptor had to accelerate to almost two swings at an altitude of about 20 km.
 
F-102A
 
F-102A
 
F-102A
 
While there was a development prototype, the U.S. air force adopted the so-called plan a “cook — Craigie”, which was abolished phase of the pilot production and the concept of “prototype” for the new technology, with mass production scheduled to expand in parallel with the first testing of the machines. According to them, a significant number of aircraft participating in the tests would speed up their debugging and to carry out improvements of the cars during production.
 
This approach may have worked in the production of the more conservative aircraft, but to create such a complex, largely revolutionary machine it was not suitable, and confirmed the course of events. The problems started with the fact that neither the J40 engine, no fire control system MG-10 was not ready at the time of construction not only of the first sample, but in time for the start of serial production of interceptors. “Hughes” he said that might be able to put MG-10 in 1955, and “Westinghouse” could not say anything specific about the timing of readiness of the J-40. As a result, the first cars picked J57 company “Pratt & Whitney”, more powerful, but more severe. MG-10 is also decided to replace “what was” — system, MG-3, almost unchanged migrated from the F-86D “sabre”.
 
The military has realized that the coveted supersonic interceptor within a specified period they will not receive. The program had to be adjusted, in December 1951 with “Konver” has signed a new contract. Now the “102nd” was considered in two ways. An interim F-102A Machete (the name was soon replaced by “Delta Dagger”), which was to be adopted in 1953, and the final—F-102B, which later became the interceptor F-106, equipped with the standard weapon system and engine, entering service in 1956
 
Production of the first ten pre-production aircraft (two in the embodiment of the “8-80” and eight—version “8-82”) began in April 1952, and on December 17, the company received the contract to build 32 serial F-102A.
 
The construction of the first instance was at a high rate, but still lagged behind the time period agreed in the contract with the USAF. Parallel to the continued purge models in aerodynamic tunnel. In early 1953, it became clear that, despite using a more powerful engine, new supersonic interceptor will not. In addition, the service ceiling was below the design at 1500 m, and the range was 375 km to 650 km is claimed.
 
The new data confirm the obtained in the tests had the same aerodynamics XF-92. They were literally yelling about the fact that the supersonic speed of this car will not submit due to a sharp increase in wave drag in the transonic region. And yet, the engineers went on to create the interceptor in the initial configuration, ignoring objective data. Was hoping for a miracle? That more powerful engine still will drive the plane to the required speed? It is now difficult to judge what guided the developers in their actions, just not put on the program fat cross, but the fact remains. Only in mid-1953, seeing the futility of further work, the designers started to look for a solution. Sorry, was very late to make any adjustments to already built machines, so the first dozen remained in the “subsonic”.
 
The first “swallow”
 
The first YF-102 was ready for testing in the fall of 1953 24 Oct chief pilot “Konver” Richard L. Johnson was first off the aircraft from the ground. The surveys revealed a new fighter its characteristics are not much better in service with the F-86D “sabre”. Some regimes have shown a steady buffeting, insufficient directional stability was observed in almost all altitudes and flight speeds. Had problems with the main landing gear and the engine J57-P-11 did not develop full thrust. But it was nothing compared to the fact that the aircraft could break the sound barrier as the pilot tried to accelerate the car. Worst fears were confirmed in practice.
 
As if that wasn’t enough! In the seventh flight due to engine failure on takeoff the machine made a forced landing. Richard Johnson was seriously injured, and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
 
11 January 1954, testing continued on the second machine (ser. No. 52-7995). It finally managed to reach supersonic speed, but we had to dive at an angle of 30°, the number M was only of 1.24. This achievement brought the creators of airplane joy a little, especially because during the tests revealed new problems. So, steady oscillations of the type “Dutch step”, so the speed of flight had to limit M = 0,99.
 
Already built pre-production machines have altered the shape of the air intakes, reprofiled rear fuselage, a modified canopy, but these and other changes in no way did not affect the critical status of the project. The machine stubbornly refused to go supersonic in level flight.
 
Meanwhile, worked to PASS the talented aerodynamicist Richard T. Whitcomb found a solution to the problem, formulating the so-called “area rule”. It consists in that to reduce aerodynamic drag in the transonic speed area of the square cross section of the moving body along its length must strive to square of the rotation body. To put it simply, the fuselage in place of its articulation with the wing, stabilizer, nacelle and other “exposed” parts have to be “biased” to the square of its cross section “to wing” and in place of articulation with the wing was about the same.
 
The redesign of the aircraft subject to the “rule of squares” took 117 days. The fuselage was lengthened considerably and “biased” in place of articulation with the wing. In addition, the bow section became longer, more “focused” and down to improve visibility. Immediately behind the wing there are two large bulbous fairing to improve the aerodynamics of the tail section. To increase stability at high angles of attack of the end section of the wing has acquired a significant twist. To get rid of the “Dutch step”, a little moved the keel back. Used new canopy with visor, a more pointed shape and a folding part without the multiple frames characteristic of the pre-production cars. Visibility from the cab has deteriorated, but the requirements of aerodynamics in this case was more important. New car decided to put a modified engine J57-P-23, develop greater thrust with less mass.
 
On the way to the series
 
The new version received the designation YF-102A (factory—”Model 8-90″). Four copies were built at the plant in San Diego.
 
Test pre-production cars began at Edwards AFB on 20 December 1954 in the second flight, held the next day, the plane reached M = 1,2 in horizontal flight at a height of 17 km and according to the pilot, the stock thrust have allowed us to climb up higher. A few days later the fighter already surely broken the sound barrier in a climb. It was a real victory!
 
But in this “ointment” was “a fly in the ointment”. In connection with the radical processing of the project plan, the cook—Craigie misfired. Eight previously built cars had to remake the standard YF-102A, the two aircraft without alterations was sent to the firm “Hughes” for testing of weapons control system. But it’s not so bad. But two-thirds made for mass production of parts (over 30,000 titles) is now good only for scrap.
 
And yet, despite being behind schedule and tremendous difficulties in the development of a new interceptor, USAF’t lost interest in the project and ordered during 1954 , in a total of 145 vehicles.
 
Technologically YF-102A was divided into volume of the wing and six sections of the fuselage (nose, Central and tail parts, each of which was divided into right and left halves). Compartments were collected and Packed all necessary equipment in different shops, and then sent to the final Assembly shop. There they docked, using precision optical instruments.
 
Serial fighter F-102A
 
Serial fighter F-102A
 
In the redesign, the engineers abandoned the soft wing fuel tanks in favor of tanks, compartments. The design of the wing used cell aggregates, which was also a novelty. Generally, in terms of the design “Delta Dagger” was quite an advanced machine. The power structure in the tail section and front wing spar made of titanium alloy Rem-Cru. For wing skin used new Alcoa aluminum alloy 2024-Т86, which had a tensile strength of more than 36 kg/mm2 at a temperature of about 100°C. In the course of manufacture of parts and components used the most advanced at that time engineering solutions and equipment: CNC machining centers, manual milling large panels of the wing, glenvarna the design of tanks, compartments and much more.
 
Engineers “Konver” originally laid in the design quite a high level of serviceability. For example, unlike the majority of fighters in those years (in the US and in other countries) on the F-102 for replacement of the engine did not require disconnection of the fuselage For this purpose, the technological cart on which the J-57 was made through the tail. The glider was full of the hatches, necessary for final Assembly of the sections and for maintenance. Well, about the system for the Central fueling under pressure and can not speak. In addition to the significant reduction of time of preparation for departure, it became a huge convenience for the technical staff.
 
24 June 1955 in the air rose the first production F-102A (“Model 8-90”), which after 5 days was transferred to the military tests the Rate of release of interceptors began to increase. However, the first 40 cars and not on combat duty and used for the finishing work.
 
Production aircraft: the chain of modifications
 
During serial production of the aircraft was continuously improved. A significant improvement was the installation of a new keel with the increased height and square (76 cm and 2.5 m2 respectively). The sweep of the leading edge was close to 52°, and the rear did almost straight. The first keel received 26 th production aircraft in December
 
1955 G. Then for a short time Keeley was equipped with a pre-built machine.
 
The armament of the interceptor was part of a guided missile (SD) class “air—air” GАR-1 “Falcon” with semi-active radar and infrared homing heads (up to 6 UR weapons bays), and 24 NAR T-214 caliber 2 inch (50 mm). Later, starting with a series of “block 51”, unguided missiles were replaced by more powerful “mighty mouse” caliber 2.75 inch (70 mm). Under the new NAR modified about 170 previously constructed machines.
 
Externally, the most noticeable innovation was the revision of the wing, called Case XX (old wing had the designation Case X). The new version had a more pronounced ending with a twist. The area of the outer elevon increased by changing the geometry of the external side edges. The resulting improved stability of the aircraft at low speeds, maneuverability, and service ceiling increased by nearly 1300 m, and the rate of increase was nearly 74 km/h at an altitude of 16,700 m. the First aircraft with the new wing took to the air in may 1957, and from October this wing go in the series. Given the non-revolutionary character of the improvements and a large number of already built machines to beef up to the standard of Case XX did not.
 
By November 1957 the chassis all built fighters modified, reinforced side stays and improved shock absorbers. Later stands somewhat turned forward relative to the vertical axis.
 
Twice, in 1957 and 1958, modified the brake pads. And to increase resiliency of the air intake at the entrance set the wedge, usecase boundary layer of air.
 
Most of the improvements included in the program “Konver” started to built by the time the interceptors in 1957 In this program included: replacement of the keel, the installation staff weapon control system MG-10 MG instead of-Z, the revision under wing external fuel tanks with a capacity of 815 litres and finalization of the weapons bays under the new NAR “mighty mouse” and install a manufactured probe in the bottom of the center section.
 
Improved avionics and interceptor. In 1958 part of the aircraft equipped with radio navigation system receiver ТАСАN AN/АRN-21. At the end of 1963, the program of modernization of the “Big eight” F-102A received the latest IR detectors for missile guidance with a heat seeker. Dome-shaped sensor of the scanner was mounted in front of the canopy. Then the plane for emergency landing and got a brake hook.
 
Serial production of the F-102A ended with the delivery to the customer in September 1958 the last 873rd of the aircraft.
 
Spark
 
Military in April 1952 had provision for dual control, in addition to providing training option the possibility of its use as an interceptor. Thus, the customer wanted to obtain training and combat aircraft.
 
Sparke has received the designation “Model 8-12”. Compared to the basic version of the aircraft, the forward fuselage with the cockpit, which was located side by side, have expanded. Air intakes shifted down. The rest of the spark was an exact copy already flew the YF-102A.
 
Changes in the design of heavier glider is 230 kg, although the length of the fuselage was reduced to 1.5 m For his broad nose a little later the aircraft was nicknamed the Tub (the tub).
Sparky testing revealed significant problems, chief of which was the buffeting at transonic speeds. Rearrangement of canopy, made in April 1956, the desirable result has not brought. The vibrations have decreased slightly, but deteriorated overview of the jobs of pilots, training aircraft was very critical. The problem is almost decided on the third prototype, setting on the cockpit canopy generators of vortices, providing a continuous flow. In addition, the aircraft received a new keel from the F-102A.
 
Increased lamp caused an increase of drag, and speed “flying desks” were subsonic. However, this is considered acceptable, imposed operational constraint on the number M = 0,98 and forgot about this problem. The spark was provided by a control system armament MG-3, and the armament was similar to the military machine.
 
The original contracts provided for the construction of 169 cars, the designation TF-102A, but limited edition of just 111. In each wing there were 2-3 Sparky.
 
“Deuce” in the ranks
 
The first F-102A entered service April 24, 1956 327-squadron of fighter-interceptors, stationed at the airbase Georgie, California. In order to confirm high potential of the new interceptor, and the success of its development in line unit, the squadron commander, Colonel Charles Rigney in the late summer of 1956, made a record flight to Oklahoma, which reached a speed of 1320 km/h and covered a distance of 1790 km.
 
F-102 the troops quickly dubbed the “poor”. The arrival of new technology in the units, carrying out tasks of air defense, there was a very high rate. In 1956 the city of new aircraft equipped with four squadrons (97 machines), and by the end of next year, 15 units were already 428 “twos”, including ТF-102A. A year later, “one hundred second” re-equipping 32 squadrons, replacing the outdated F-86D. The majority of aircraft were stationed along the Northern border of the United States, covering the most “promising” direction of attack by Soviet bombers. In late August 1957 the first “Delta Dagger” appeared in Alaska—back to the base joint base Elmendorf relocated and was on combat duty 317 squadron from air force base Mcchord. The last combat “deuce” was transferred to the troops in September 1958.
 
By the end of 1956, according to the report of the ground command USАF ensure that the serviceability of the Park interceptor was estimated as critical. Because of this, their operational readiness in mid-1957 G. does not exceed 30%, while the total fleet of the forces involved in the task of air defense, 55%. However, by the end of that year, the operational readiness of the F-102 was able to raise to 50%, largely due to the program modifications all previously built cars up to the standard of 459-th released the plane. USАF spent on this program for about 43 million dollars, but not wasted. By the middle of 1958 g. the serviceability of the Park was increased to 60% (24 squadrons) and this was not the limit.
 
“Hughes” continued to improve its missiles with radar homing. The result was a new modification of the UR—GАR-1D (AIM-4D) with improved system control and increased tail to increase height application.
 
The development of new technology in combat units was difficult. The accident rate was high. Suffice it to say that during the operation of “two”, according to the Center for security USAF, built of 875 F-102A in accidents and catastrophes, lost 259 of cars, killing 70 pilots. The number of accidents per 100,000 hours of flight time was of 13.69. For comparison, in relation to F-18 the figure is 4.9, F-16—4,14, F-15—2,47. Even an AV-8B marine Corps of the United States, considered the most dangerous aircraft in us military aviation has an accident rate of 11.44 per 100,000 hours of flying time.
 
Placement of instruments and controls in the cockpit of the F-102A
 
Placement of instruments and controls in the cockpit of the F-102A
 
In 1963, “two” become carriers of nuclear weapons, getting UR class “air—air” AM-26 “Super Falcon” with a warhead capacity of 1.5 CT. Six squadrons, three in the air force and the National guard, was armed with such a missile.
 
The geography of the use of the F-102A was not limited to the territory of the United States. The first base outside the us where there were these interceptors was Thule in Greenland, where in June 1958, relocated 327 squadron. At the beginning of next year “two” settled in West Germany at the airbase in Bitburg—25 cars got stationed there 525 squadron. In addition, in a short time the re were five more squadrons stationed in West Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.
 
In March 1959 R-102 and got to Pacific—new interceptors got 16 squadron, based at Naha air base on Okinawa. And “two” flew there on their own, for which they were additionally equipped with a boom refueling in the air, which are then dismantled. In total USAF Pacific command during the period from March 1959 to June 1971 were seven squadrons “Delta Dagger”.
 
In the early 1960s, the USAF was gradually changing “two” to a high-speed F-101 “Voodoo” and the so-called “final” interceptor F-106 “Delta Dart”. By mid-1961, squadrons of fighter-interceptors “twos”, there were only 221, and by the end of 1969 all the F-102 was transferred to the National guard.
 
In Europe, the USAF continued to operate the “Delta Dagger” until the early 1970s, Several squadrons stationed in Germany and the Netherlands, remained in operational condition until mid-1973, the Last unit of the USAF, operated by “deuce” in Europe, was 57 squadron (airbase at Keflavik, Iceland) in summer 1973, these machines had replaced the F-4C “Phantom”.
 
Foreign operators
 
But the European career of the F-102 did not end there. In 1971 in the framework of strengthening air defense in Europe 24 F-102A and TF-102A from the composition of the USAF gave the Greek air force, and 38 “twos”, including three Sparky Turkish.
 
During the Cyprus conflict of 1974, recognized as one clash with Turkish F-102A. Official Turkish sources claimed that the pilot “Delta Dagger” shot down a missile “Falcon” Greek F-5. The other side of the conflict is not confirmed, nor denied. And therefore in many foreign publications can be found a statement of this fact. But retired Brigadier General of the Greek air force Thomas Skampardonis with this interpretation I completely disagree. In 1974, he was in the rank of pilot officer, he served in the 337 squadron day interceptors in service which consisted of F-5, and was a direct participant also air combat. Here is a short retelling of his story about this event published on 28 October 2003 in the pages of the online version of the Air Combat Information Group. July 21, 1974, on the second day of the active phase of the conflict, Turkish aircraft began to intensively violate the airspace of Greece. 337 squadron was brought into a state of full combat readiness. At 13.30 received the first command on the flight. Skampardonis was the wingman of the first pair, led by a more experienced flight Lieutenant Dinopoulos. However, the master refused the radio, and when the fighters taxied to the start, Dinopoulos motioned that he would go led. Theoretically, the fault plane had to return to the Parking lot, but the pilot did not. According to Skampardonis, “during the conflict, even faulty aircraft must take off on time.”
Fighters raised to identify enemy aircraft and monitor them. To enter into a dogfight intentions were not, therefore, switches weapons systems were in the “off” position. Planes were paired, the led was back on a decent distance and with a small excess. After two or three hovers for various purposes with KP entered a team to reach a certain region at an altitude of 6100 m. At the altitude of 5500 m and a speed of 650 km/h, the pair received a command to search for targets at 20° to the right. Immediately Skampardonis saw two Turkish F-102 flying to the left a collision course at a distance of 200 m. He stopped the climb and began to turn towards the enemy. “Deuces” also began to unfold in the direction of the Greek plane to come to him in the tail. Skampardonis reported on KP about the visual contact with the Turkish fighters. To Dodge them, the pilot made at least four reversal, and for some time lost sight of the Turks. When he regained spatial orientation, we saw on the surface of the sea a huge water fountain and a large oil slick. The pilot began to look through the eyes of a slave, but to find it could not. Not helped in this and the CP (as we already know, radio contact with Dinopoulos were absent).
 
After landing, taxied to the Parking lot and jumped out of a plane, he saw how the aircraft slave, unhurt, passed over the airfield. Skampardonis noticed that the two missiles on wing pylons that were absent. After landing, Dinopoulos said that the Turkish pilots did not notice him, as he was in the side and above their head. He saw Delta come to the tail of Skampardonis, and before he had time to do anything, one F-102 was opened weapons bays, and there was a start UR “Falcon”. The only way remained instant attack that Dinopoulos did. The launch of the first “Sidewinder” was unsuccessful, as the missile was not ready. But the second, launched from the range of about 800 metres, hit the target.
 
The next day the Turks lost another F-102, but not during the battle, and just at takeoff from the airfield Balikesir (Balikesir). The pilot was killed. Even the loss of “twos” in Turkey was quite high. At the very least, aware of 18 accidents and disasters. For the Greek air force statistics could not be found.
 
In Turkey “Delta Dagger” remained in service until the end of the 1970s, In Greece they served until 1975-1976, when it was replaced by the French “Mirage” F1.C.
 
The mission in Vietnam
 
Had “the two” to war in Vietnam. Reviews about the effectiveness of the F-102 in that conflict in foreign experts range from “the most useless aircraft in the war” to “excellent carry out its mission for seven years.” We’ll leave assessment on the conscience of their authors, look at the facts.
 
“Two” was in Vietnam from March 1962 to November 1969, the interceptor was considered the air defense of U.S. bases and cover the bombers while attacking the enemy.
 
The first four of the “second hundred” 405-th tactical fighter wing (TIATR) were transferred from Clark air base (Philippines) to the airfield of tan son Chat under Saigon before the start of hostilities on March 21, 1962, the President of South Vietnam was very worried of the unidentified target, pinpoint at night radars along the South Vietnamese Cambodian border, so he turned for help to the United States.
 
Two days after relocation interceptors began the combat, and during the following week and made 21 departure to the detection of enemy targets. But, strange thing: on arrival of “twos” in Saigon ticks on the radar screens disappeared, and flying on a search for the purposes of the pilots recorded the only flocks of wild geese.
 
As it became known later, the South Vietnamese border violations had taken place, and not just wild geese. Since 1959, the aircraft of North Vietnam carried out the operation “Free fall” to supply the South Vietnamese guerrillas with arms and ammunition. We used a Li-2 which was at a height of about 30 m and dumped the cargo into the jungle without a parachute. To detect painted dark green aircraft pilots “twos” was virtually impossible.
 
After the outbreak of hostilities that followed the incident in the Gulf of Tonkin on 2 August 1964, the number brought to the solution of combat missions “one hundred second” has increased. They began to be founded on the bases of da Nang and tan son Chat on a regular basis. Later, because of the overload of Saigon airfield, “two” C tan Dream the Chat was transferred to the airbase of bien Hoa. In addition, the transactions attracted the aircraft stationed in Thailand. In total, during the Vietnam war, was attended by 22 F-102A. Most of them were in five-minute readiness (14 cars), the rest in time.
 
Work for its intended purpose interceptors was not so since 1965 they began to involve strikes on the ground. After all, in the Arsenal of “two” was listed 70 mm NAR “mighty mouse”. It’s time to use their potential! Besides, the F-102 had an infrared system front view (the only fighters involved in the fighting), which allowed us to detect partisan fires and worked in the jungle of mobile factory on manufacture of ammunition.
 
The effectiveness of combat application of the “two” on the ground can be judged from the story of Michaela Harris, who served in the 509th fighter squadron from June 1965 to June 1967, Describing military actions, he concludes: “the Pursuit of the guerrillas by destroying their fires made rather a psychological effect than a military. Many other actions taken by us were not high performance, but gave confidence that we are involved in a common cause”.
 
However, in one of the rooms of the magazine Aviation week&Space technology those Peta told about the actions of the same 509th squadron. It was reported that the pilots were destroying 106 buildings, 59 severely damaged and destroyed 1 bridge, having made 199 flights in 45 days. But no one shot down the enemy plane, that is, the implementation of the interceptor its primary role is not reported.
 
But the very “poor” shot down repeatedly. One plane struck by missile R-ZS released from North Vietnamese MiG-21, three more were victims of guns, but four cars were destroyed on the ground (three—July 1, 1965, on the basis of da Nang, and one on 12 April 1967 at bien Hoa). Only in Vietnam, lost 15 “Delta Dagger”. Agree, for a grouping of 22 aircraft—a lot. Combat losses we have enumerated the causes of the other accidents and disasters, equipment failures, and pilot error.
 
Intended for absolutely other purposes and tasks, the F-102 was clearly unsuitable for the role of fighter-bomber, especially attack aircraft. High evolutionary speed, which is characteristic for the Delta wing, the lack of sight and a very limited Arsenal made effective combat use of the aircraft impossible.
 
Sunset career
 
As soon armed with more modern aircraft “two” decommissioning. In October 1976, the latter consisting in the service of the machines from the 199th fighter squadron of the National guard (the Hawaiian Islands) were sent to the base storage Davis-Monthan.
 
Subsequently, a part of the machinery was converted into unmanned target aircraft target.
 
As a whole, established as a temporary, transient aircraft, F-102A lived a long and full life. And in the war took part, and the ocean had been, and in different guises has been in service for over 30 years. And in many ways was the first, and so, as you know, is always difficult.
 
Without a doubt, the creation of the first US integrated system of weapons, as we have seen, was a matter of expensive (as of January 1957, the program has cost US taxpayers in 1061 million dollars), complex and arduous, but the American industry with this challenge by putting its air force complexes, ahead of similar developments abroad (mostly Soviet) for a few years. And although American designers refused to create a “BASHvest” with a Delta wing, this aerodynamic design was used and still used until now.
 
The main characteristics of the F-102A
 
Wing span, m……………………………..11,62
Length, m………………………………………..20,81
Height, m………………………………………..4,46
Wing area, m2…………………………61,45
Weight of empty aircraft, kg……………..8777
Take-off weight, kg:
normal………………………………….12 950
maximum………………………………14 300
Maximum speed
at the ground, km/h…………………………………..1190
Cruising speed, km/h……………..1014
The number M at an altitude of 1380 m……………….1,25
Maximum
the rate of climb, m/min………………..3692
Practical ceiling, m……………..16 500
Range, km:
practical normal…………………540
with the PTB………………………………………………800
ferry………………………………….2172

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