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, 889 of which were F-102As. The USAF also bought 111 TF-102As 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 F-102A on display served the 57th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron in Iceland. On various occasions, it encountered Soviet aircraft flying reconnaissance missions over the arctic (see photo). It was flown to the museum in 1971.
Armament: 24 unguided 2.75-in. rockets and six guided missiles
Engine: One Pratt & Whitney J57 of 16,000 lbs. thrust with afterburner
Maximum speed: 810 mph
Cruising speed: 600 mph
Range: 1,000 miles
Ceiling: 55,000 ft.
Span: 38 ft. 1 in.
Length: 68 ft. 4 in. (including boom)
Height: 21 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 31,559 lbs. maximum
Serial number: 56-1416
Click here to return to the Cold War Gallery.