! More information and history on the Dart
can be found at Christoper T. Wren's website. Worth a look-see says the Ol'Kunnel.
Thanks for the return. Yes, I had forgotten rule # 1 in my haste to comment on the A/C # 58-0787 (ie. that no pilot ever leaves a perfectly good aircraft!). Quite obviously that pilot would not be keen to be remembered as one of the select few who violated that hoary old rule of airmanship. That reminds me of an old joke among aviators regarding parachuting or sky-diving: namely that there are only two things that fall out of the sky, and one them is birds**t.
It is interesting to find old # 58-0787 restored and on display. Surely that sort of historical background is unique and worth preserving.
By the way, now that the Tyndall QF106 ("Pacer Six") program has wound down (January of this year), there must be a few non-flyable Six airframes left over. As part of an article I was writing on this final episode of the Six story, I was in contact with Lt. Dagcuta of the 82nd ATRS down at Tyndall, who was handling the phase out of the Six drones. He gave me a list of the tail numbers of the Six drone and details of their eventual disposition. I matched these up with a list of the original Sixes that were slated for the QF106 conversion, which I obtained from AMARC some years earlier, and have this information available for anyone who wants to know what happened to their particular aircraft (how long it lasted, how many flights it completed, when it was finally destroyed, etc.). According to Dagcuta, when the program finally ended (01/98), there were two or three flyable survivor Sixes which were flown back to the bone yard. He said that there were a dozen or two non-flyable airframes left, as well, which were going to be disposed of. I told him I was interested in obtaining a control stick yoke/grip from one of the hulks, as well as possibly a Weber ejection seat or two, and he said to fly on down for a look-over--if I had a "museum number." Unfortunately, I do not have these credentials and was unable to take him up on his offer, as much as I wanted to. I am still searching for a Six control stick yoke/grip as well as one or more of the Six's Weber type rocket seats, but have not seen anything show up in DRMS that approximates these items. If you ever have a line of anything of this sort, I'd appreciate some information.
I know that Ed Brady at Air Combat in Florida has a complete F106 Weber seat egress trainer, but it weighs over a thousand pounds and he's asking about $3K for it. I can't coax my fairly tolerant wife into letting me acquire it (due to size, cost and so forth), so I am trying to locate a good example of an intact seat and a control yoke, instead.
Have been searching for an original ICESC/Convair 'B' seat--also known as the 'Supersonic' or "Tilt" seat--that the Six was originally fitted with for years but the only one I know that exists is in the hands of Bill Herring in Texas (associated with the military archeology artifacts lab at Kelly AFB, Bill Geist, Mike, and the others there). Apparently there were a few of these most interesting seats at the bottom of a stack of old ejection seats that sat out under the Texas sun for at least 20 years; they were finally identified by Bill and someone else and of the three apparent examples hidden away in that stack, the present whereabouts of only one (Bill's seat) is known. My interest in this special seat goes back to the days at Edwards AFB in the late 50s and early 60s, when the ICESC/Convair B seat was being sled tested on the rocket sled track there: I was a teenager growing up locally thereabouts and recall seeing the "Tilt-seat" rocket sled on display several times on Open Days at the AFFTC.
Another E-mail from the "F-106" Fan Club.
Thanks for the quick reply, I have been looking at your site for quite a
while but have just gotten around to contacting you. I first got sent to
Malmstrom the day after Christmas in 68 right after tech school. There were
no sixes there except for one which
was being repaired and I thought it was the one that bellied in which makes
me think that maybe the date in the story is wrong but it's been so long I
could be wrong.So there were no 6's there at that time flying. Anyway, the
71st. had just been sent to Korea on a six month TDY to fly shotgun for the
121's after one got shot down by North Korea. I was later sent over to
Okinawa with the 95th. from Dover when it was their turn. The planes were
in Korea and we did the shop work on the engines at Kadena. I often think
about what a beautiful plane the 6 was and who could forget the sound of
that burner when it kicked in? When I got back from Okinawa I had orders
waiting for me to go to Udorn and the F-4, another great plane, but not as
special as the 6. I finished up my hitch at Mather on 52's and 135's. I
often wonder what became of the guy's I was stationed with so if you have a
site where you toss the names out add mine and my address. Thank's again
and stay in touch.
I was a Crew chief on 58-795 when it was assigned to the 94th FIS at
Selfridge AFB Mi. I learned that it was later used as the test bed for
mounting the Vulcan 20 mm canon. I have also learned that it was turned into
a Q-F106A and shot down. I would like to learn more about exactly where and
when it died. My Pilot was Lt. Col. Jamison and would also like to know more
of his subsequent career.
The 71st. FIS was the companion squadron to the 94th while I was stationed
there. My aircraft had the early B seat and was later fitted with the Webber
On occasion, I also worked on 58-787 (the pilotless bird that belly landed)
when it was assigned to Selfridge.
Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any informational help to your
Many, many tips of the Ol'Kunnel's cap for your great addition to this history of the "lonesome" Six.
And, let's keep those cards and letters coming, folks!
Another message from a former 49th FIS member:
I got a minute to glance at your blurb on #787 and its miraculous self landing and enjoyed it. That plane ultimately ended up at the 49th FIS at Griffiss where I was a "6" pilot from 1972 to 1974. The plane was known as the "Humble Honker". If you "left it alone, it would bring you home" was the motto it carried -- at least in our conversations. I'm also not sure if you are aware, but the possible reason for the plane's unbelievable unpiloted landing was most probably due to part of the emergency procedure for the flat spin. There were several different recovery procedures for flat spins during the life of the 106 and early in its operational life, one of the steps in the recovery procedure was to push the take-off trim button. I believe that this step probably saved the bird because it would cause the plane to take up a nice flat glide at somewhere around 220 KCAS. Obviously there were other factors in the safe landing such as perfect aileron trim. One last point is how the plane actually recovered from the spin. If you take a section of the front fuselage you have an almost perfect profile of the Apollo space capsule -- with well known aerodynamic characteristics. Once the canopy was ejected, that inherent lift is the nose was spoiled and the nose pitched down -- allowing the aircraft to safely fly away. Surprisingly, no one ever came up with a new spin procedure calling for the jettisoning of the canopy as a means of flat spin recovery.
Keep up the good work on the web site!
Captain, USAF retired
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