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 fighter version, made its initial flight on Sept. 29, 1954. Development of the unarmed RF-101, the world's first supersonic photo-reconnaissance aircraft, began in 1956. When production ended in March 1961, 807 Voodoos had been built. While 35 RF-101As and 166 RF-101Cs were produced, some single- and dual-seat Voodoos were converted to the reconnaissance configuration and redesignated RF-101Bs, RF-101Gs and RF-101Hs later in their operational lives.
The RF-101C on display participated in Operation Sun Run in 1957. This Voodoo also flew vital low-altitude reconnaissance during the Cuban Missile Crisis and helped confirm that offensive missile sites in Cuba were being dismantled. It also served in Southeast Asia with the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. It was flight delivered from the 153rd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Mississippi Air National Guard at Key Field, Miss., to the museum on Oct. 27, 1978.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: One MK-28 or MK-43 thermonuclear bomb (optional) 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 Ceiling: 45,800 ft. Span: 39 ft. 8 in. Length: 69 ft. 3 in. Height: 18 ft. Weight: 51,000 lbs. maximum Serial number: 56-166