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Category: News - Features (Archived) Created: 06/23/2007 04:48 PM
URL(s): the TF-102A   Updated: 05/10/2010 09:45 PM
SAVE-A-PLANE: Rare Two-Seat TF-102 Delta Dagger Fighter Trainer
Help needed to save a rare and unusual fighter trainer!
This SAVE-A-PLANE is Issued by the Forward Air Controller's Museum for Immediate Action:

TF-102A S/N 56-2337
I would like to donate the
following amount to help save
TF-102A Delta Dagger 56-2337:
$ (US Dollars)

Once you click the Submit button above, you will be taken to PayPal's secure website to complete your transaction (this will open in a new browser window.) Existing PayPal users may log in, or you can enter your information for a one-time payment. You do NOT have to sign up with PayPal in order to donate!
F-102A Delta Dagger Specifications

Data from The Great Book of Fighters, via Wikipedia

F-102A 3-view

General characteristics
  • Crew: 1 (TF-102A has 2)
  • Length: 68 ft 4 in (20.83 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 1 in (11.61 m)
  • Height: 21 ft 2 in (6.45 m)
  • Wing area: 695 sq. ft (64.57 sq. m)
  • Airfoil: NACA 0004-65 mod root and tip
  • Empty weight: 19,350 lb (8,777 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 24,500 lb (11,100 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 31,500 lb (14,300 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Pratt & Whitney J57-P-25 afterburning turbojet
    • Dry thrust: 11,700 lbf (52.0 kN)
    • Thrust with afterburner: 17,200 lbf (76.5 kN)
  • Internal fuel capacity: 1,085 US gal (4,107 l)
  • External fuel capacity: 2 x 215 US gal (815 l) drop tanks


  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.25 (825 mph, 1,304 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,190 m)
  • Range: 1,350 mi (1,170 nm, 2,175 km)
  • Service ceiling: 53,400 ft (16,300 m)
  • Rate of climb: 13,000 ft/min (66 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 35 lb/sq. ft (172 kg/sq. m)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.70


  • Rockets: 24× 2.75 in (70 mm) unguided rockets in missile bay doors
  • Missiles:
    • 6 x AIM-4 Falcon air-to-air missiles or
    • 3 x AIM-4 Falcon
    • 1 x AIM-26 Falcon with conventional or nuclear warhead


  • MG-10 fire control system

An important message from Bill "Spider" Spidle, OBA Director of Aircraft Operations:

June 15, 2007

Hello everyone,

In March of 1952, the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation, aka Convair, announced plans to build the F-102 Delta Dagger. Of the 1,000 scheduled for production, 111 were to be built as two seat TF-102 trainers (which were often known as "Tubs" due to their wide forward fuselage... the airplane was identical to the normal F-102A behind the side-by-side cockpit area). Although the final construction of these aircraft was done in San Diego, California, the cockpit and forward fuselage sections were built in Fort Worth, Texas and shipped to California. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Air Force briefly used the TF-102 as a Fast FAC aircraft, and standard F-102s became commonly used to good effect in the ground-attack role. Ultimately, only 85 of these rare two-seaters was ever built. While the F-102 probably isn't the best-known of the fighters of the period, it played a significant part in the Vietnam conflict and even had some unique uses. The F-102 carried air-to-air Falcon missiles which were combined with the nose-mounted Infrared system for night raids along the Ho Chi Minh trail... with the possibly unprecedented effect of using the air-to-air Falcon as a ground-attack munition. Before it was withdrawn from the war in 1968, fifteen F-102s were lost (only one to air-air combat, a few to AA fire, the rest to operational accidents). The F-102 served until 1976 with Air National Guard units (this is the aircraft that George W. Bush flew) and also served until 1979 with the air forces of Greece and Turkey. Beginning in the early 1970s, some were used as target drones until 1986. The F-102B development incorporated so many changes that it was re-designated as the F-106 Delta Dart. No F-102s are flyable today.


Recently, the Forward Air Controller's Museum (FACM) and the OV-10 Bronco Association (OBA), learned that a small museum in south Texas was giving up its collection of airplanes. One of those aircraft was a rare TF-102A, number 56-2337. In addition to serving in Greenland and North Carolina, this aircraft spent a significant part of its career here in Texas at Perrin and Ellington Air Force Bases. This airplane is a true Texas native with a connection to Fort Worth. Our mission is to raise the funds needed to acquire, recover, transport and display this Deuce at the Memorial Air Park in North Texas.

TF-102 56-2337 was built in 1958. Although we have not yet completed its full history, this aircraft has a distinguished career the Air Force's 327th & 482nd Fight Squadrons, the 3555th Fighter Wing, 4780th Air Defense Wing and the 147th Fighter Intercept Group at Ellington AFB in Houston with the Texas Air National Guard.


The Government Services Administration has approved the OBA (a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Museum) and the FAC Museum to accept this aircraft for its Fort Worth Veteran's Memorial Air Park at Meacham Field in Fort Worth, Texas. Acquiring this rare TF-102 for our collection has been a museum goal as this airplane is significant to the aviation history of Fort Worth, Texas. Our goal is to raise $8,000.00 to acquire, transport, and preserve this aircraft properly.


We need sponsors to save this historic airplane from the scrappers. Please help now. Gifts of any size will make a difference, but time is running out for this old veteran of the Cold War. There is an immediate urgency to act now. The GSA has given us a limited timeframe in which to recover and display this airplane or it will be destroyed. If we meet this goal, we will save this piece of Fort Worth and American aviation history for future generations.

We need your help to preserve this great aircraft, and tell the TF-102 story. Some or all of your sponsorship or donations may be tax deductible. You can make your donations by cash, check credit-card or PayPal by sending your contribution to:

(Note our new address!)
OV-10 Bronco Association
P. O. Box 161966
Fort Worth, TX 76161
Phone/Fax: (800) 575-0535

Please pass this message along. We can't do this by ourselves, but together we can SAVE A DEUCE.

Thanks for your support,

Jim Bloomberg
Director of Aircraft Operations

Click here for a downloadable/printable PDF version of this article

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: If you don't succeed in raising the money, will I get a refund?
A: If that is your desire, no problem... just let us know. However, we would hope you might consider thinking of it as a general contribution to our goals... either to save this TF-102, or continue the restoration of our other aircraft (including the F-14, QF-4S, F-5E, O-2A, two OV-10A's, and others to be brought onboard soon), for seed money for future acquisition opportunities, to pay for the costs associated with our operations (ie, paying rent for the hangar space, keeping the lights and phones turned on), or to otherwise help with our mission to preserve our history and educate the public about it. We follow the US Marine's creed of "doing more with less" and we take seriously our responsibility to use all contributions effectively and wisely to work towards our stated goals.
Q: Will this plane ever fly again?
A: Unfortunately, no... it would be cool to see this plane fly again but it's simply not feasible or possible to do so for any number of reasons. However, even on the ground, this aircraft is very valuable as a static display and educational tool. We intend to restore her to the best condition possible so that future generations can see, learn about, and appreciate the history she was part of.
Q: If the OBA/FACM doesn't get this plane, can someone else with the money get her?
A: Maybe, but that seems fairly unlikely at this point. If we don't get her, she is due to be destroyed for her scrap value. Even if someone had the money to spend, the government still has a lot of requirements that must be met before you are eligible to receive such items, such as being approved by the GSA to receive government items. It took us years of hard work to gain this eligibility.
Q: I'd like to help, but I don't have much money. Are there other ways to help?
A: Certainly! First off, ANY amount of money will put us that much closer to our goal, so don't feel embarrassed if you're not able to send a lot. Every bit helps! But aside from money, there are many other needs... we will need volunteers for disassembly, transportation, volunteers to take her off the truck, and of course volunteers to help reassemble and restore her once she's in Ft. Worth. Right now, one of the most helpful things you can do is simply SPREAD THE WORD to all your friends about our needs... the more folks who know, the more likely we are to be able to raise the money to save this veteran. Remember, time is growing short!
Q: What happens a few years down the road?
A: Well, Nostradamus hasn't returned his voicemails lately so we don't have exact predictions of the future yet. However, the primary immediate goal is acquisition and restoration to a displayable condition. Next, we work on the details such as paint or smaller details. Long-term, there are various goals such as preventive maintenance and restoration, periodic cleanings, incorporation into the larger context of the Memorial Air Park, etc. Above all, the guiding principle is to treat this and all of our display aircraft with the respect they deserve. Many of our display aircraft are on permanent loan status, the terms of which include certain minimum requirements that we must continue to meet in order to retain eligibility to keep the aircraft. We have every intention of continuing to meet those obligations, not just because the government says we have to, but because it's simply the right thing to do to preserve the airplane for future generations. In fact, we strive to go beyond the minimum standards in order to do the best possible job to preserve the history that has been entrusted to our care, whether or not we're "required" to or not. It's simply the right thing to do. We want our grandchildren's grandchildren to be able to see, touch, and experience these valuable displays.
Q: I checked my logbooks, and I have time flying in (or working on) this plane... are you interested in my records?
A: Absolutely! We'd definitely love to hear from anyone with a personal connection with this aircraft... 90% of aviation history isn't about a particular aircraft itself, but the people connected to it. Let us hear about it!
Q: Are you guys in competition with other museums/organizations? Isn't this more of a fighter than a FAC aircraft?
A: Not at all! Every group has a stated purpose; we can't fulfill every mission and neither can anyone else. Whenever possible, we try to work with other groups with similar interests of historic preservation and education. While we focus mainly on the Forward Air Control part of history, this inevitably has a lot of crossover with other communities: fighters, bombers, ground-pounders, helicopters, etc. Many (if not most) of our members are also members of other organizations, and we often go to other group's events (Pop-A-Smoke, FAC Association, etc.) and they are always welcomed at our events. The OBA and FACM offer full, open membership to everyone interested enough to join, and please leave the "cliques" at the door. There's plenty of history to go around, and many valid ways to look at and present it. We just want to make sure that a plane at the center of the history is preserved.

If you have any additions or corrections to this item, please let us know!

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