This month in USAF history

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wrenchedmyspanner, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. wrenchedmyspanner

    wrenchedmyspanner New Member

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    I'm not sure where best to post this so I'll leave this here. I would like to run a recurring piece on the history of the US Air Force roughly once a month.

    Here is this month's piece and typical of what I would like to share each month.


    This month in USAF history


    On Dec. 26th, 1956, the F-106 Delta Dart's first flight occurred at Edwards Air Force Base. The F-106 was an all-weather interceptor that was developed from the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger - an aircraft that did not meet speed expectations. Originally designated F-102B, it was redesignated F-106 because of a more powerful engine, the Pratt Whitney J75-17 turbojet engine plus extensive structural changes to the fuselage by application of the 'area rule.' - Wikipedia has a good article on the area rule principle. At high speeds air simply does not have time to "get out of the way", and instead flows as if it were rigid pipes of flow. By narrowing the fuselage aft of the cockpit the 'pipe' or airflow has a greater cross section and thus moves over the wing more easily. By incorporating the area rule into the fuselage, the F-106 was not only able to meet but exceed speed expectations of the F-102. In this photo you should be able to see how the area rule was applied to the fuselage:

    F-106_aircraft_in_flight,_view_from_tanker.jpg

    Known affectionately as "The Six", the Delta Dart still holds the official speed record for a single engine jet aircraft at 1525.96 MPH set by Major Joe Rogers in December of 1959. The F-106 featured an internal weapons bay in which the primary armament of AIM-4 Falcon missiles and AIR-2 "Genie" nuclear tipped rocket were carried. The Six served from 1959 to 1981 with the US Air Force and until 1988 with Air National Guard units.

    The F-106 is also significant for its use of the Hughes MA-1 electronic guidance and fire control system. After takeoff, the MA-1 enabled control of the aircraft by ground controllers who in turn could fly it to the proper altitude and attack position. Then the MA-1 would fire the Genie and/or Falcon missiles, break off the attack run and return the aircraft to the vicinity of its base. The pilot would then take control again for the landing. Dejavu?


    Notable Incident:

    During a training mission from Malmstrom Air Force Base on Feb. 2, 1970, an F-106 piloted by Capt. Gary Faust suddenly entered an uncontrollable flat spin forcing the pilot to eject. Unpiloted, the aircraft recovered on its own, apparently due to the balance and configuration changes caused by the ejection, and miraculously made a gentle belly landing in a snow-covered field near Big Sandy, Mont. After minor repairs, the aircraft was returned to service (I don't know about the extent of damage to the reputation of the pilot). It last served with the 49th Fighter Interceptor Squadron before being brought to the Museum of the United States Air Force in August 1986 where the craft rests to this day.

    F-106 resting in field_1.jpg
    The aircraft after it landed on the snow covered field in Montana.

    This website has many photos of this incident plus much more about the F-106: F-106 Delta Dart - 58-0787 Pilotless Landing
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Actually the pilot did exactly what he was supposed to do and stayed with the aircraft for as long as he could. He rode the aircraft down from 38,000 feet finally departing at 15,000 feet. Because SOP called for take off trim to be actuated during a spin, the aircraft was able to right itself. The other pilots who witnessed this incident were amazed when the aircraft recovered from the spin and was gliding towards the ground, the only pun thrown out was one of them saying "get back in there" as Capt Foust floated down in his chute. I'm sure Gary Foust's reputation was well intact after this incident as he experienced a ride that few have lived to tell about, let alone having his aircraft being able to be recovered and placed back into service.
     
  3. wrenchedmyspanner

    wrenchedmyspanner New Member

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    Thanks Flyboy for the additional information AND the correction - I appreciate that. Very funny that they told him to get back in the aircraft.
     
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