Author Topic: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support *finished*  (Read 3817 times)

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Offline sandiego89

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F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support *finished*
« on: November 22, 2019, 07:24:31 pm »
F-102 Delta Dagger, used to support F-117 Stealth Fighter design, development and training.

In 1979, as the team was being assembled for the F-117 stealth fighter program, it was recognized that a support and cover aircraft was desired to test systems, develop routes, and to prepare pilots for intense night flying work.  A low key aircraft, with a easy to explain cover story, was desired.  Several aircraft were considered including the T-38, F-4 and A-7, but the F-102 Delta Dagger which had last seen active service with the Hawaii Air National Guard in 1976 before retirement had some advantages:

 - The internal weapons bay:  As internal weapons bays were a key aspect of maintaining the stealthy profile of the F-117, the F-102 could test the tracking and targeting systems, test internal carriage of laser guided munitions, the trapeze, release characteristics and by containing the weapons internally help disguise the true attack mission of the stealth "fighter".
-  The QF-102 (and PQM-102A and PQM-102B) was still being used for manned and unmanned target duties as was a fairly common sight at Tyndall Florida and on the western ranges near Holloman, Nellis and other ranges, and provided a good cover story. While most activities would take place in the western ranges near Groom Lake, any F-102 sighting or rumors could be explained as routine QF-102 target drone activity. F-102's being pulled out of the boneyard could be hidden as additional drone conversions.   
- Performance.  The configuration, Delta wing and relatively high takeoff and landing speeds were judged to be a good representative on anticipated flight characteristics of the highly swept F-117.
- Familiarity.  There was still an adequate supply of F-102 airframes, spares and some pilots and maintainers, and cross support was available under the QF/PQM-102 programs. 

It is believed that around twenty F-102's were eventually involved in the Have Blue, Senior Trend and F-117 development programs, and served in test, chase, training and continuation support roles.  Several unconfirmed reports suggest several airframes, with their highly accurate targeting systems, were used for actual combat missions, where the use of actual F-117's was deemed too politically sensitive.   

1/72 Minicraft F-102
1/72 Heller F-117
Various 1/72 weapon sets for Laser Guided munitions.




             
« Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 12:02:26 pm by sandiego89 »
Dave "Sandiego89"
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Offline comrade harps

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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2019, 02:21:52 am »
Sounds feasible (not that otherwise ever stooped anyone around here). :thumbsup:

- Familiarity.  There was still an adequate supply of F-102 airframes, spares and some pilots and maintainers, and cross support was available under the QF/PQM-102 programs. 
         

I'll add known radar cross-section and IR and acoustic signatures to the list of the familiar for comparisons during tests.
Whatever.

Offline sideshowbob9

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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2019, 02:22:47 am »
I think this is a really good idea. Your reasons for selecting the 102 make perfectly good sense. Looking forward to see how this pans out.

Offline NARSES2

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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2019, 02:30:00 am »
I think this is a really good idea. Your reasons for selecting the 102 make perfectly good sense. Looking forward to see how this pans out.

Saves me thinking of the correct words  ;) Looking forward to this  :thumbsup:
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Offline Rheged

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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2019, 09:16:47 am »
A very plausible scenario.  I'm impressed.
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Offline sandiego89

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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2019, 09:35:07 am »
Thank you all for the encouragement!  Glad you found it plausible!

Commencing work, the minicraft F-102 looks basic but good. 

Only had older Mk 82/83/84- Paveway 1 laser guided bombs in the stash (with large fixed rear fins).  They will not fit in the bay, so I just placed an order for a set of bombs including a series of the Paveway 2 that have the folding rear fins.  Should just fit. 

F-102 with Italeri Mk 82 laser guided bomb, original minicraft Falcon and Italeri Maverick. 



Weapons bay with instructions showing trapeze launchers





Dave "Sandiego89"
Chesapeake, Virginia, USA

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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2019, 01:20:29 pm »
Whatever you do, DON'T even try and build one side with the weapons bay doors closed!

They don't fit at all, and you'll be in for the biggest PSR job on the planet!  :banghead:
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

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Offline Rheged

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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2019, 01:48:20 pm »
Whatever you do, DON'T even try and build one side with the weapons bay doors closed!

They don't fit at all, and you'll be in for the biggest PSR job on the planet!  :banghead:

I wonder how he knows that?
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Are losing theirs and blaming it on you....."
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2019, 01:50:48 pm »
Whatever you do, DON'T even try and build one side with the weapons bay doors closed!

They don't fit at all, and you'll be in for the biggest PSR job on the planet!  :banghead:

I wonder how he knows that?


To use a 'Zneratism', DON'T ask me how I know this!  :banghead:
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

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Offline sandiego89

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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2019, 02:08:42 pm »
Whatever you do, DON'T even try and build one side with the weapons bay doors closed!

They don't fit at all, and you'll be in for the biggest PSR job on the planet!  :banghead:

Thank you for the warning! The doors looked pretty iffy as soon as saw them. Wish the kit came with closed door options.
Dave "Sandiego89"
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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2019, 03:36:14 pm »
Whatever you do, DON'T even try and build one side with the weapons bay doors closed!

They don't fit at all, and you'll be in for the biggest PSR job on the planet!  :banghead:

Thank you for the warning! The doors looked pretty iffy as soon as saw them. Wish the kit came with closed door options.


At one time, waaaaaay back when, someone did do them as an add-on, but I can't remember who. Deltabits maybe?
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

Offline sandiego89

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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2019, 02:56:29 pm »
Wings on, still waiting for my folding fin laser guided bombs, but they should fit. 

Splurged on the weapon loading set, those bombs aren't' going to load themselves!







Dave "Sandiego89"
Chesapeake, Virginia, USA

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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2019, 04:43:04 pm »
Looking good ! The one I currently have half-built has the doors closed. Just don't look directly at it and they're fine lol.

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Offline sandiego89

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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2019, 08:48:02 am »
New load of smart bombs arrived! 

Lower profile with pop out fins will fit in the weapons bay.  Low profile bomb closest to camera compared to first generation paveway 1 with larger fixed fins.

 

500 pounder all snugged up in the bay.



Now what was Kit warning me about???? Could it be those ill-fitting weapons bay doors?   Why yes, yes it was.  I am a glutton....and Captain Canada encouraged me into it  ;)

« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 08:50:24 am by sandiego89 »
Dave "Sandiego89"
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Re: F-102, stealth fighter "cover" and support *weapons bay*
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2019, 09:02:06 am »
Wow, they look a lot better than the doors on my Duece!   :o

Perhaps a different generation moulding?
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit