Abstract The reactions π +p giving π 0 Δ ++(1236), η(549) Δ ++(1236) and η′(958) Δ ++(1236) are studied at 16 GeV/ c. Cross sections, differential cross sections and Δ ++(1236) spin density matrix elements are presented. The π 0 Δ ++(1236) differential cross section dσ dt′ indicates a dip towards t′ = 0 and has a minimum at t′ ≅ 0.6 GeV 2. The Δ ++(1236) spin density matrix elements are consistent with the predictions of the Stodolsky-Sakurai model, except perhaps near the forward direction. For ηΔ ++(1236), the differential cross section dσ dt′ turns over in the forward direction and presents no further structure. SU(3) sum rules are tested and found to be approximately satisfied. The data agree with factorization of ϱ exchange. The effective A 2 trajectory is calculated and found to be consistent with that reported from the reaction π −p → ηn.