McDonnell F-101F-111-MC (S/N 58-0338) of the 18th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. This aircraft was manufactured as a F-101B dual control equipment airplane, initially known as TF-101B, then as TF-101F and finally as F-101F. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Developed from the XF-88 penetration fighter, the F-101 originally was designed as a long-range bomber escort for the Strategic Air Command; however, when high-speed, high-altitude jet bombers such as the B-52 entered active service, escort fighters were not needed. Therefore, before production began, the F-101's design was changed to fill both tactical and air defense roles.
The F-101 made its first flight on Sept. 29, 1954. The first production F-101A became operational in May 1957, followed by the F-101C in September 1957 and the F-101B in January 1959. By the time F-101 production ended in March 1961, McDonnell had built 785 Voodoos including 480 F-101Bs, the two-seat, all-weather interceptor used by the Air Defense Command. In the reconnaissance versions, the Voodoo was the world's first supersonic photo-reconnaissance aircraft. These RF-101s were used widely for low-altitude photo coverage of missile sites during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and during the late 1960s in Southeast Asia.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Two AIR-2A rockets plus two AIM-4 guided missiles Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney J57-P-55s of 16,900 lbs. thrust each (with afterburner) Maximum speed: 1,095 mph. at 35,000 ft. Cruising speed: 545 mph Range: 1,754 miles Service ceiling: 52,100 ft. Span: 39 ft. 8 in. Length: 71 ft. 1 in. Height: 18 ft. 0 in. Weight: 52,400 lbs. maximum Crew: Two