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World’s Fastest Single-Engine Jet Aircraft

World’s Fastest Single-Engine Jet Aircraft Book Review

By Davd L. Veres

Date of Review May 2017 Title World’s Fastest Single-Engine Jet Aircraft
Author Doug Barbier Publisher Specialty Press
Published 2017 ISBN 9781580072373
Format 227 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $44.95


For kids in the 1960s, the F-106's sleek silhouette and delta-wing design symbolized the Mach 2 might of Cold War US air defense.

Now Doug Barbier has penned a stunning study of Convair's supersonic "Six": World's Fastest Single-Engine Jet Aircraft: The Story Of Convair's F-106 Delta Dart Interceptor from Specialty Press.

Toss your old F-106 references. The copiously illustrated, authoritative effort spans 23 chapters and five appendices across 227 pages. Barbier's hefty hardback meticulously, thoroughly and, yes, even lovingly tells the total tale.

The author kick-starts contents with seven informative chapters on F-106 development. Starting life as the F-102B, the project effectively evolved into a "clean sheet" effort – with major airframe, propulsion, systems and armament changes.

A spellbinding section on stillborn "advanced", navalized, fighter-bomber and nuclear-strike derivatives follows. How about that twin-engine F-106-30?

Three more chapters chart service introduction and design refinements. And another ten trace the F-106's operational career. Barbier covers all USAF Air Defense Command units with Sixes – including colors and markings.

Details of deployments during 1962's Cuban Missile Crisis also proved especially illuminating. So were notes on the aborted ARPA Terminal anti-ICBM program.

Two concluding sections summarize NASA use and F-106 retirement. And five appendices offer further details:

  • F-106 Contracts
  • F-106 Model Numbers and Differences
  • The First 50 Sixes
  • Prototype F-106 Test Aircraft Assignments
  • F-106 Survivors

And an index neatly ties things up. But where's Barbier's summary of sources? And how about an acronym glossary?

What a riveting read! The copiously illustrated effort features photos, drawings, tech-manual excerpts, sidebars and extended captions. Lots and lots of eye candy here.

Dust off those F-106 kits. Your optimal reference has arrived!

My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for this review sample!