THE 456th FIGHTER INTERCEPTOR SQUADRON

THE PROTECTORS OF  S. A. C.

 

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Painting from Boeing Conceptual Artist, Steve Cox, Boeing Engineering Model Laboratory. QF-106A AD-103, 72459 MTANG -04.   Far right center of picture, an AIM-9 Sidewinder fired from an F-16, top center of the picture.

 

The "Pacer Six" Program

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The first flight of a remote controlled QF-106 at  The White Sands Missal Range in NM     ERV SMALLEY

Almost 2/3rds or approximately 199 of all the F-106 aircraft  produced were converted to QF106 aerial target drones under the 'Pacer Six' Program, with most being expended by the 82 ATRS at Tyndall AFB (Florida).  In the course of active operations QF106 drone operations, which extended to January of 1998, there were only 3 flyable survivors which were able to return to AMARC for storage (D-MAFB, AZ).  There were also a few non-flying airframes left on the Tyndall ramp at the end of the 'Pacer Six' Program (7 aircraft in all),  on that peripheral part of the ramp known as the 'Swamp' in unflyable condition.  Purchase of these remaining airframes was negotiated by a private aviation enterprise based in Texas as recently as 12 months ago and a tentative deal was struck with DRMS to sell the aircraft for purposes of restoring them as non-flying, museum-display grade aircraft. One of these aircraft was reportedly ear-marked for restoration as a fully operational flying specimen; however, due to the fact that stringent 'de-mil' requirements for combat aircraft require cutting the airframe structural members to render them incapable of further flight applications, this stalled the whole purchase package for several years.  At present, six of the seven airframes are in various early stages of repair and restoration in a privet facility in Texas.

NASA also used the Six (two former Minot AFB birds from the 5th FIS) in flight test operations at Edwards AF-FTC (FLIGHT TEST CENTER) in California (Eclipse Project); although that program is now over, it is possible that NASA will have further use of these two specimens in future test programs. The two NASA Eclipse birds are presently back at AMARC, along with a total of about 20-22 surviving F106A & B models (this includes F-106's that were never converted to drones).
 

QF-106
Brief: A converted, remotely piloted F-106 fighter used for full-scale training or testing.
Function: Aerial target.
Operator: ACC.
First Flight: not available
IOC: not available
Inventory: approx 194.
Contractor: Honeywell.
Power Plant: one Pratt & Whitney J75-P-17 turbojet, 24,500 lb thrust with afterburning.
Guidance and Control: remote-control methods include the GRDCUS and, for Holloman AFB, N.M., operations, both the Drone Formation and Control System (the US Army's predecessor to the GRDCUS) and the Drone Tracking and Control System (a microwave command guidance system scheduled for phase-out).
Dimensions: length 70 ft 8.75 in, height 20 ft 8.5 in, wingspan 38 ft 3.5 in.
Weight: mission operational weight 40,500 lb.
Performance: max speed Mach 2, ceiling 50-55,000 ft, typical radius 575 miles.


COMMENTARY
Replacing the QF-100 in USAF service from late 1991, the QF-106 permitted higher supersonic speeds while under remote control and increased maneuverability.

 

 

THE DEATH OF AN F-106

 

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The Hit was right behind the cockpit!

Complements -- Paul Kudla

 

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Many F-106's were unceremoniously dumped into the Gulf of Mexico to form an artificial reef for fish.

 

 

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Last Updated

02/10/2014

 

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