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Robert Bausch
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Two “Sixes”, Convair F-106 in 1/48 by Monogram, who else?

February 4, 2014 · in Aviation · · 17 · 5.4K

The Convair will always be one of my most favorite aircraft, and not just because I was able to fly supersonic in one, but that probably helped! In September 1972 I flew from McClellan AFB in California to Tyndall AFB on the Gulf coast in Florida (in a C-121 Constellation, which was an experience in itself), as an Air Force artist. This was during the William Tell Air Defense Command contest that year, and my 106 flight was in an F-106B of the Air Defence Weapons Center, the hosts of the affair. We were alternately targets and then hunters, and it was an experience I will never forget. My “Avatar” shows me on the right, with the Major who was my pilot, standing in front of our F-106B, 57-2543. I've included a couple of photos from my ride, one of me in the back seat, and one from the cockpit, of the Gulf of Mexico about 30,000 feet below, the only shot I took during the flight, I was so spellbound. I remember the “max afterburner” takeoff as a great force that was going to push me through the bottom of the aircraft. The P & W J-75 was an awesome powerplant in its day. It was also used in the F-105 Thunderchief.

For many years I have been happy that no other kit manufacturer than has got their claws into the F-106 in scale. I still am. I think it is a great kit, not without its build problems (the front fuselage join is the one that sticks out for me), but if carefully done produces a striking model of an amazing aircraft, and there are some pretty nice looking squadron marking decals available to go with it. And all this at an affordable price, unlike almost every new kit that comes out nowadays.

There are 2 models in this posting. The first is of the “Red Bulls”, 87th FIS (kit decals), and the second of the 27th FIS (Super Scale decals). The 27th FIS bird had a little battle with the sun over a short period of time, and the sun won. So, the starboard side decals got a bit crazed, and that's why I'm just showing the port side. After discovering this, the curtains on the windows of my “model room” were closed, and remain so!

On my F-106 flight back in 1972, I did take the controls (stick only, no rudder), and flew the bird for some miles over the Gulf of Mexico, including a roll (fairly well done, and if I remember right, kick the nose up first, then bump it port or starboard). When the Major took over again, however, he let me know I had lost 1000 feet of altitude, because I hadn't paid attention to the altimeter, and hadn't pulled enough back pressure on the stick. I made a mental note to do that in my next 106 flight, whenever that may occur, perhaps after I have “crossed the bar”. Anyway, while the Major was flying us, we incidentally went over Mach 1, which was no problem for this thoroughbred aircraft, which could go twice that, with great ease. Why shouldn't I love this beautiful machine?

And, somewhat like all Republic F-105s (another of my favorites) being made by Republic in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York, all F-106s were made by Convair in the beautiful city of San Diego, California. In other words, these aircraft were built by the companies that designed them, in the same cities where they were designed.

Nowadays, the names of our aircraft designers and manufacturers seem so mixed up, it is hard to tell who is building their own aircraft designs anymore. I always thought a classic example of that was McDonnell Douglas making F-18s, originally a Northrop design. I bet Jack Northrop rolled over on that one! And to make matters worse, now it is a Boeing!

I am a great fan, however, of Russian aircraft, and they, I believe, have a similar setup (but not identical-they don't seem to involve mergers), where their aircraft design bureaus design the aircraft, but when they go into production, the aircraft are assigned to be built in various factories that don't necessarily have any affiliation with a design bureau. I mentioned this in my posting of the Sukhoi Su-7. I guess it is a “sign of the times”, with things getting less personal, and more efficient, as time goes on. I believe the Russians may have started this trend some time before we did.

Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

16 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. Wow...and I thought getting some "stick time" in three separate T-6 rides was awesome - gettin' to be the GIB in a -106B beats that all to hell. Excuse me while I turn green.
    And a nice job on the two models as well...REALLY nice. Let us know if and when (and where) you ever post the other pics of your "adventure". I, for one, would love to see 'em.

    • Craig, unfortunately these are the only photos I have of the F-106 ride. It really is true that I was "spellbound", just soaking it all in, and just didn't get any more shots. I have a few shots of my T-38 ride out of Eglin AFB, but they are all prints, and I need to get into the photo files to find them. I do have some shots of my B-52 ride, and have access to them. One of the problems with the T-38 and B-52 is I don't have any models built of them! I don't even have a kit of the T-38.

  2. Very nicely built models there, Robert, and what a story!

  3. Bob,
    These are gorgeous. Your skill is incredible and I truly envy the fact that you got a good ride in one of these. I have been told that this aircraft is still the fastest single engine aircraft ever. Correct? Excellent looking models

    • Frank, you are right, but there are a couple other contenders. Joe Rogers set the F-106's record of 1525 mph on 15 Dec 1959, and it is official. Georgi Mosolov made a speed of 1665 mph on 7 Jul 1962, in the Ye-152-1 (a design derived from the MiG-21), but there is no proof and it is unconfirmed. Also the MiG-23 swing wing fighter is credited with a top speed of 1555 mph, but again, it is unconfirmed.

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience. Both models are very well done with colorful markings.

  5. WOW! Says it all…great experience and great looking models. Thanks for sharing both.

  6. very nice models, very jealous of your stick time!

  7. Nice narrative. In my opinion this aircraft looks very "modern" with it's delta wing configuration, more futuristic compared to todays jet fighters(I wonder what killed the delta wing)? Beautiful job on the model(s), they look great!

  8. Terrific builds and a bucket list story. Thanks, and well done!

  9. Two great builds there Robert, and a nice story to go with it.
    Great pics as well.

  10. Robert, In my humble opinion the Dart, Dagger and Voodoo are the best looking jets ever built...your two examples are great eye candy! I wish you hadn't removed your Voodoo from Talbots Hobby Shop, I enjoyed looking at it every time I went in to buy my hobby supplies.

    • Erich, thanks for your favorable comment. Regards the Voodoo at Talbot's, sorry I brought it home, but I actually had not taken any photos of it, brought it to Talbot's right after I finished it. When I have taken photos, maybe I should bring it back!

  11. Love the 87th FIS markings from K.I. Sawyer. That was my dads last duty station when he retired in 1987. I have very fond memories of the B-52s and F106s there. My parents still live up there and enjoy the great north woods of Michigan.

  12. Many thanks to all for your interest and comments on my F-106 models. I will try to do a couple more, those ADC squadron markings are pretty nice.

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