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Video: F-106 Tethered to C-141 Takeoff & In-flight Footage

In 1997 and 1998 the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, supported and hosted a Kelly Space & Technology, Inc. project "Eclipse," which sought to demonstrate the feasibility of a reusable tow-launch vehicle concept. ( Más...

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joel wiley 7
Don't suppose my AAA card would work for such a tow.
Bob Atwater 2
Yes, that is true. It slid to a stop on snow in a farmers field, engine ran until it was out of fuel. Only damage was the leading edge of a wing which hit a fence post. BUT, it cost big bucks to recover. Had to build a road across a muddy field so a heavy duty crane could hoist it so a sling could be placed under it. A crane helicopter lifted it and carried it to a low boy 18 wheeler. It flew again and was on alert in my detachment at Charleston AFB. I told the story to some visiting ROTC cadets and they looked at me like I was confirming advice they had be given, 'never believe a fighter pilot's war stories.'
Bob Atwater 2
I have about 2000 hours, 1965 to 1983 in the "6". The J-75 engine was almost indestructible. After a mission crew chief asked me to look a the leading compressor blade. There was in imprint of a .5"x1.5" bolt in the blade and no debris. Engine ran fine never felt or saw any anomalies. But working the radar at night at low altitude was kinda hair raising. No ground avoidance radar and nothing to tell how far above the ground you were. You trusted the GCI controllers. They never let me down. Thanks guys. Too bad most where chopped up or put on pedestals somewhere. Check in front of the Spruce Goose Hangar in McMinnville, OR.
Bob Plested 1
The museum at Wright Patt has one that was recovered from a farm field. The pilot got it into either a deep stall or spin and punched. The plane recovered and glided at idle power into a snow covered field.
Bob Plested 1
The engine on the F-106 was running to power the hydraulic flight controls and allow the operation of the landing gear, as well as providing a quick recovery should the tow line break. The 106's speed brakes were opened to counter the residual thrust from the idling engine.

The C-141A S/N 61-2775 weighed about 140 Klbs empty, it had no more than 60K of fuel on board for these tow missions, making the total weight 200K or less. The max gross was 326K if I recall. From a performance perspective, 200K of tow plane plus 30K of glider was still below the 141's max gross, though the drag from the tow was higher than an added 30K of payload on the 141.

The weak link on the tow cable was rated at 10 Klbs, if I recall.

Its been a few years.
preacher1 1
Keep on and you'll tell your age
Bob Plested 1
I worked on the Eclipse project at Edwards. Those planes were older than me, but I was used to that :) I'm 50 for what its worth!
joel wiley 1
Octal, decimal, or hex?
Bob Plested 1
Base 10
sseeplane 1
I saw that aircraft on static display at the 1997 Edwards AFB open house (50th anniversary of supersonic flight) and visited with the project lead for a while.

They used a B-52 drag chute release mechanism on the nose of the -106.
If memory serves, the placard at Wright Pattern AFM Hanger 3 states that the F-106 pilot got in an inverted spin which he could not recover from and punched out in a snowstorm. He landed safely and walk to a farmers house. Plane recovered and flew quite some distance trimmed for a slow, gentle descent. Landed in deep snow in a huge, flat corn field many miles away. As stated, the engine ran for quite a while until fuel exhaustion. There is a great set of pictures with the static aircraft display that shows the tracks left in the snow and the bird resting on the fuselage in the farmers field.
toolguy105 1
The 141 was over powered when built. I wasn't sure when they added a section so it could carry a bigger pay load is it was still overpowered. I guess this video answered that question.
Zany4God 1
I heard that a 141 could climb from a standing star to 10K' faster than an F4. Any truth to that rumor?
oowmmr 1
Tow a old delta wing to flight I didn't think that would happen. It looks like some exhaust plume from the 106, I think it burning.
erniekovacs 1
Responding to Zany4God: I have never sat in an F-4 but seen them many of times climb out of a bombing run. I/we flew via C141 to Viet Nam. Made a stop at Wake Island. When we were departing the pilot said on the intercom: strap on boys, we have a short runway. When we took off it seemed as if was the same angle as that of those F-4 climbs from a bombing run.
Pete Boeller 1
Worked on the MA-1 Radar system on the sixes early 80's Minot AFB. Pretty impressive interceptor for it's time IMO.

[This poster has been suspended.]

iflyifr 1


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