Side view of McDonnell RF-101A-25-MC (S/N 54-1502) of the 29th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. Photo taken in January 1964 at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The F-101 lineage included several versions: low-altitude fighter-bomber, photo-reconnaissance, two-seat interceptor and transition trainer. To accelerate production, no prototypes were built. The first Voodoo, an F-101A, made its initial flight on Sept. 29, 1954. When production ended in March 1961, nearly 800 Voodoos had been built. Development of the unarmed RF-101, the world's first supersonic photo-recon aircraft, began in 1956. While 35 RF-101As and 166 RF-101Cs were produced, many earlier single-seat Voodoos were converted to the reconnaissance configuration.
The RF-101C on display participated in Operation Sun Run, a high-speed transcontinental flight on Nov. 26, 1957. Using air-to-air refueling, a team of Voodoos set nonstop speed records from Los Angeles to New York City and return. Capt. Ray W. Schrecengost, flying the museum's RF-101, broke three existing speed records.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force has an RF-101C on display.
Prototype; S/N 54-149, 54-150
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: One MK-28 or MK-43 thermonuclear bomb Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney J57s of 15,000 lbs. thrust each with afterburner Maximum speed: 1,000 mph Cruising speed: 550 mph Range: 2,060 miles Service ceiling: 45,800 ft. Span: 39 ft. 8 in. Length: 69 ft. 3 in. Height: 18 ft. 0 in. Weight: 51,000 lbs. maximum