Answering the call for a supersonic interceptor, the F-102 Delta Dagger was an early iteration of a group of aircraft known as the century series fighters. It was purpose-built to zorch out to high altitudes and directly combat fleets of Soviet bombers, primarily the Tu–95 Bear. This was known as the “bomber gap,” an early manifestation of the capabilities-obsessed paranoia in the nascent days of the Cold War, this now-infamous theory stemmed from an air power demonstration over Moscow in 1955 when a wave of Soviet bombers overflew the city. To make the display appear more impressive, the aircraft flew out of sight, circled, and made multiple passes; giving the illusion that waves of bombers were approaching in succession. American and allied governments were duped by this simplistic trick and began the process of bolstering their air arms’ capabilities to combat this imaginary fleet.
Since technology and requirements were advancing faster than production would allow, the Delta Dagger was obsolete by the time the last airframe rolled off the assembly line. It saw limited use during the Vietnam conflict, but lived on as an unmanned target drone and pilot trainer; it was famously used by the first crop of NASA astronauts to maintain flying proficiency during their grueling space-flight training. Regardless, the F-102—as well as the rest of the century series aircraft—is a breathtaking design with its delta-wing cut and aluminum glisten, and it is the product of one of the most fascinating eras in American military history. – A.T. Roberts
The TF-102A aka “The Tub” was a 2-seat trainer version of the F-102A. It featured side by side seating and only 111 were made. We’ve had some windscreen windows here and thought sending this tag with the F-102 tags was the way to go. These windows however, which were made of tempered glass, were not cooperative. The windscreen was comprised of 3 layers: an outer pane of glass, a clear rubber layer, and an inner pane of glass. The tempered glass shattered when we tried to cut it (as expected) and what was left were clear triangular rubber tags that required us to remove the broken glass by hand after the fact. The tags weren’t so much cut as they were harvested and are easily the most unusual we’ve released in a while.
We almost pulled the plug on the TF-102 release altogether, but instead of canning it, we're limiting it to only 50 tags and inventory will be added a few tags at a time as we chip our way through these windows over the next few releases until we get to 50. Some of these tags feature aluminum if they were cut near the rail, and some are completely clear. Some even have metal heating elements inside the rubber.
These variants (Clear, Multi-colored, and Rail) are listed as separate options so you'll know exactly what you're getting. The Multi-colored tags have areas of silver paint and red adhesive under layers of material. They also have a thin aluminum inner layer. The Rail tags have a significant portion of aluminum rail on the tag. All come with black printed art.
The edges of these tags are a little rough in areas and you can fully fold the clear ones completely in half! They come with printed art and a stellar card by BVR.
The TF-102A was an unusual variant of the F-102, and our TF-102A tags certainly continue that legacy.
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