Published May 29, 2015
DAYTON, Ohio -- McDonnell F-101B Voodoo at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
DAYTON, Ohio -- McDonnell F-101B Voodoo in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (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 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.
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
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
Click here to return to the Cold War Gallery.
Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.
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The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)