Convair F-102 Flies

Last Sunday, October 25th, the U.S.A.F. announced that the prototype Convair F-102 had completed its initial test flight. The company's chief test pilot, Dick Johnson, had been waiting since October 19th, but a number of last-minute troubles had caused postponements.

The F-102 is scheduled for large-scale production as a standard Air Force interceptor. A delta, bearing a resemblance to the F2Y Sea Dart, it is powered by a J57 turbojet with afterburner, giving some 15,000-lb thrust. When a bigger engine becomes available it will be standardised - as in the case of the F-100, although the latter fighter has a "lower Mach rating" than the Convair machine. The F-102's wing is very thin and the fin is rather smaller, proportionately, than that of the Sea Dart; but the J57 is fed from Sea Dart-type dorsal intakes.


Denmark sees Hunter

From Copenhagen it is reported that the Danish Minister of Defence is negotiating to buy a large number of Hawker Hunters, together with spares. Last week-end Neville Duke took a Mark 1 Hunter to Kastrup Airport in order to demonstrate it, and on Monday he gave a second performance before Danish and NATO representatives. The Danish report mentions a sum of one million kroner, which is about £5 million sterling, in connection with the Hunter order. Hawker representatives, from whom we sought confirmation of the story, "knew nothing about the negotiations."


Saucer on Paris Route?

One of the most intriguing "flying-saucer" stories yet published is that told by Capt. P. Fletcher and First Officer R. L. Lemon, pilots of a B.E.A. Elizabethan which operated a morning service from London to Paris on October 9th. From the flightdeck of the airline, they watched for some 30 min a highly polished machine which appeared to be flying on the same course as the Elizabethan but at a greater height (about 20,000ft). Capt. Fletcher reported that visibility was excellent on the day in question; from a distance of 100 miles he could see airliners circling over Orly, and a Constellation which overtook the Elizabethan en route remained in sight for 20 min although it was flying 50kt faster. The "object" - described as resembling two shallow saucers with their rims together - was also seen by the radio officer and steward. Capt. Fletcher puts forward no theories as to the identity of the object, but gives several reasons for his belief that it was not a conventional aircraft.

Source: Flight International