Convair promotional image, 1954/55, screen-shot Nikon D80.
The first USAF aircraft armed only with guided missiles and unguided rockets – The Convair YF-102 Delta Dagger, always called “the Deuce” – made its first flight on 24 December 1953. It had to undergo extensive development before it entered service in mid-1956, but ultimately it served with third-six squadrons.
The Convair F-102 was the first supersonic warplane with a delta or triangle shaped wing. Designed to defend North America against bomber attack dreaded by so many during the Cold War, the F-102 combined a ‘wasp waist’ fuselage shape, technically called ‘area rule’ with blade-like wings and tail to become one of the fastest fighters of its era.
> 990 Convair F-102s were built, including 111 two-seat TF-102As.
> The Delta Dagger planned to use nuclear-tipped Falcon air-to-air missiles to stop Soviet bombers.
> The F-102 was one of the first jet aircraft to use onboard computers.
>With its afterburners lit, the Convair was more than 80 times as powerful as a Bf-109 fighter of World War II.
From: “The Air Force”, The Air Force Historical Foundation; “American Military Aircraft”, General Editor: Jim Winchester