Hobby Master HA3105 USAF Convair F-102A Delta Dagger Interceptor - 431st Fighter Interceptor Squadron "Red Devils," Zaragoza Air Base, Spain, 1962 (1:72 Scale)
"The Ultimate Interceptor."
- DoD reference to the newly developed production version of the F-102 Delta Dagger
The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was a US interceptor aircraft built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's air defenses in the late 1950s. Entering service in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept invading Soviet bomber fleets.
The F-102 was the first operational supersonic interceptor and delta-wing fighter of the USAF. It used an internal weapons bay to carry both guided missiles and rockets. As originally designed, it could not achieve Mach 1 supersonic flight until redesigned with area ruling. The F-102 replaced subsonic types such as the F-89 Scorpion, and by the 1960s, it saw limited service in Vietnam in bomber escort and ground attack roles. It was supplemented by F-101 Voodoos and, later, by F-4 Phantom IIs. Many of the F-102s were transferred to United States Air National Guard duty by the mid-to-late 1960s, and the type was retired from operational service in 1976. The follow-on replacement was the Mach 2 class F-106 Delta Dart which was an extensive redesign of the F-102.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale rendition of a USAF Convair F-102A Delta Dagger Interceptor that was attached to the 431st FIS 'Red Devils,' then deployed to Zaragoza Air Base, Spain, during 1962.
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Wingspan: 6.25 inches
Release Date: July 2011
Historical Account: "Cold Warriors" - Reactivated as part of Air Defense Command in November 1952, the 431st Fighter Interceptor Squadron replaced the federalized 172d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron of the Michigan Air National Guard. Assigned to Selfridge AFB, Michigan with mission of air defense of the Detroit/Akron area and Great Lakes initially flying the F-86F Sabres reassigned from the 63d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Oscoda AFB, Michigan.
Relieved from duty with ADC and reassigned to USAFE under Seventeenth Air Force. Flying from Wheelus AB, Libya to provide air defense over the large North African base and expansive training ranges. Replaced its Korean War vintage F-86F's with new F-86D Sabre Interceptors in January 1955. Moved to Zaragoza AB, Spain in September 1958 and was reassigned to the Strategic Air Command Sixteenth Air Force. Inactivated in 1964 with withdrawal of B-47 Stratojet from inventory and SAC turning jurisdiction of its Spanish refueling bases to USAFE.
Was reassigned to Tactical Air Command, being stationed at George AFB, California, assigned to 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. Equipped with F-4C Phantom II tactical fighter-bomber, engaged in training, participated in numerous exercises, operational readiness inspections, deployments. Re-equipped with new F-4D Phantom II in 1965 and reassigned to 479th Tactical Training Wing at George AFB. The F-4D was an improved version of the F-4C, which the 8th TFW had been deployed with to Southeast Asia.
In February 1966, the squadron began F-4D replacement pilot training for personnel to be deployed to Southeast Asia. Along with the USAF fighter pilot training, the squadron began training foreign personnel in F-4 operations and maintenance in March 1969. Pilots were trained from Israel, Iran, Japan, and West Germany. Inactivated on 30 October 1970 due to budget reductions.