The Digital Detail & Scale Series continues with the newest title, F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale, covering the development, history, operational use, and details of this historically significant U. S. Air Force aircraft, the world’s first supersonic interceptor. Over the past four decades, Detail & Scale has published over 120 books on military aviation subjects, and the brand now includes a total of five digital publication titles in the well-respected Detail & Scale Series, one in the Colors & Markings Series, and a special release that covers the attack on Pearl Harbor in extensive detail.
F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale continues the series focus on specific details of every aspect of this historic aircraft, but it includes so much more. It begins with a look at the developmental history of the F-102, usually just referred to as the “Deuce,” and what a phenomenal history it was! Designed at the time to be the first U. S. supersonic interceptor, the design unfolded in a period when aircraft designers didn’t really know what they did and didn’t know about supersonic flight. Based on the experimental design of the XF-92A, the first true delta-winged aircraft to fly, the Deuce was expected to be capable of supersonic flight and operational by 1954. In fact, the first prototype didn’t fly until 1953, and it could not achieve supersonic flight. It lasted only seven flights before being written off in a crash. The full history of how the design evolved to meet the operational requirements is discussed, and this includes how it became known as the “interim interceptor” that eventually led to the “ultimate interceptor,” the F-106, and how it was produced in much higher numbers than the aircraft that replaced it.
A chapter covers the development of the missiles carried by the F-102, which is a significant story in itself, and information is provided about the 2.75-inch rockets and every version of the Falcon guided missile that armed the aircraft over its operational career. Each variant of the F-102 is then covered, with separate sections for the prototypes, the single-seat F-102A, and the two-seat version, the TF-102A. Comprehensive reports by six pilots who flew the F-102 provide opinions, stories, and vignettes of what it was like to fly the Deuce.
Next is a chapter on the little-understood role of the F-102 in Southeast Asia, where the aircraft did not have a major part to play, but it was part of the American force structure there for almost a decade. The aircraft details chapter, long the hallmark of the Detail & Scale Series, provides detailed coverage of the cockpit, radar and electronics details, windscreen & canopy, fuselage, weapons bays, wings, landing gear, and tail of the aircraft, and contains more than 145 photos, mostly in color, that illustrate every aspect of both operational variants of the F-102.
Another chapter covers the conversion of many F-102s to the drone configuration under the Pave Deuce program, resulting in the first supersonic target drone used by the United States. This is followed up with an F-102 photo gallery, which uses color photographs to show various paint schemes and markings used both by active duty and Air National Guard units over the twenty-year operational history of the Deuce. Finally, as with all books in the Detail & Scale Series, a detailed look at all of the scale model kits that have been released of the F-102 Delta Dagger is presented, from the 1950s up to the 2017 Revell F-102A release, and this chapter includes an eleven-page listing of aftermarket products which have been available over the years to help correct and add additional details to F-102 models.