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Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
F-102 Jet Fighter
 
F-102 Jet Fighter Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 20, 2008
1. F-102 Jet Fighter Marker
Note that the exhibit referenced by the marker is actually a two seat TF-102 Operational Trainer.
 
Inscription. The Convair F-102 Jet Fighter "Delta Dagger" was a part of the backbone of the United States Air Defense System in the late 1950's. Beginning its service to the country in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept enemy aircraft in US Air Space, mainly of potential Soviet bomber fleets during the Cold War. However, due to the project being troubled, the aircraft was soon replaced by the F-101 (Voodoo) and the F-4 (Phantom II's) and thus many of the aircraft were transferred to the United States National Guard for duty by the mid to late 1960s. Because the Delta Dagger fell short of its goals, improvements were being made for the F-102B. Eventually the F-102B upon completion became an entirely new aircraft known as the F-106 "Delta Dart". The aircraft left service altogether in 1976.

A total of 899 F-102As were built and 375 were transferred to the Air Guard units. This plane was assigned to the 112th Fighter Interceptor Group which included the 146th and 147th Fighter-Interceptor Squadrons stationed at the Greater Pittsburgh Airport from the 1960s until 1975. In 1976, this jet was disassembled in Pittsburgh and moved to Ft. Indiantown Gap at its present position. The Basic Statistics of the F-102 are as follows:

Crew: 1
Role: Interceptor
Max: 810 mph
Cruising Range: 1,360 miles
Combat Range: 1,000 miles
Ceiling:
 
F-102 Tactical Fighter Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 20, 2008
2. F-102 Tactical Fighter
This F-102A Tactical Fighter, Serial Number: 56-2346, was assigned to the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, at the 112 Tactical Fighter Group, Pittsburgh IAP, Coraopolis, PA from 1960-1974 and is on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
 
55,000 Feet
Engines: 1 Pratt & Whitney J57 Engine with afterburner
Length: 68.33 feet
Height: 21.17 feet
Wingspan: 38.08 feet
Wing Area: 661.5 square feet
Aircraft No.: 62346
Armament: 24 unguided 2.75 in (70mm) FFAR rockets, six AIM-4 Falcon air-to-air missiles or two AIM-26B guided missiles.
 
Erected by Pennsylvania National Guard Military Museum.
 
Location. 40° 25.844′ N, 76° 34.204′ W. Marker is in Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, in Lebanon County. Marker is at the intersection of Fisher Avenue and Whiley Road, on the right when traveling east on Fisher Avenue. Click for map. Located on the Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Facility. Marker is in this post office area: Annville PA 17003, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Nike "Hercules" Missile (within shouting distance of this marker); Nike "Ajax" Missile (within shouting distance of this marker); Fallen Warrior Memorial - 2nd BCT (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); 40 & 8 Boxcar (about 500 feet away); EC-130E "Commando Solo" (about 500 feet away); EC-130E Commando Solo I (about 600 feet away); M60A3 MBT (about 700 feet away); UH-1 Iroquois (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Indiantown Gap.
 
Additional comments.
 
F-102 Jet Fighter and Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 20, 2008
3. F-102 Jet Fighter and Marker
The example on display is actually a TF-102A two seat operational trainer. The side-by-side trainer had a full armament suite, and was used to familiarize pilots to what was at the time an advanced avionics and weapons suite, as well as the flight characteristics of the delta wing jet.
 
1. Armament Notes
The F-102 was one in a generation fighters which arrived in service around the middle of the 1950's. These were called the "Century Series" as their official numbers ran from 100 through 107. The F-102's armament reflected a trend at the time away from guns and toward automated missile based systems. There were three armament loadouts as listed on the marker.

The 2.75in Folding Fin Aerial Rockets (FFAR) was a very basic unguided rocket. The tactic of employment called for the pilot to bring the fighter on an intercept course with the target. Then the pilot would fire the rockets in mass, with the chance that even a single hit would destroy the target. The rockets were housed within the bay doors of the weapons bay, and were carried concurrently with the other weapons

The other alternative weapons were either six AIM-4 or two AIM-26 missiles. All were generally known as the "Falcon" family of missiles. The AIM-4 had three variants, differing with the type of guidance used, and contained a standard explosive fragmentation warhead. The AIM-26 differed by having small nuclear warhead. The tactical employment called for the use of AIM-4 missiles, fired in pairs or volleys, against single targets. The AIM-26 was reserved for use against massed formations of enemy bombers. Thankfully none of these weapons were ever used operationally.
 
F-102 Delta Dagger Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 20, 2008
4. F-102 Delta Dagger
 
    — Submitted October 16, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

 
Credits. This page originally submitted on October 16, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,316 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 16, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
 
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