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 like 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 Crisis and during the late 1960s in Southeast Asia.
The F-101B on display served with the 18th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., and with the 142nd Fighter Interceptor Group, Oregon National Guard. It was flown to the museum in February 1981.
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 Crew: Two Maximum speed: 1,095 mph Cruising speed: 545 mph Ceiling: 52,100 ft. Span: 39 ft. 8 in. Length: 71 ft. 1 in. Height: 18 ft. 0 in. Weight: 52,400 lbs. maximum Serial number: 58-325