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Posted 10/30/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
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McDonnell F-101B
McDonnell F-101B-110-MC (S/N 58-0312) of the 18th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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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.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force has an F-101B is on display in its Cold War Gallery.

Type Number built/
NF-101B 1 Prototype; S/N 56-232
F-101B 479 Two-seat interceptor
F-101F 72 (cv) Dual-control; TF-101B, TF-101F
RF-101B 23 (cv) Converted CF-101B ex. 57-0301

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

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