_ Home your visit our history museum collection restoration hangar educational activities museum news donations join us contacts & links

McDonnell F-101b VooDoo

The McDonnell Douglas XF-88 and the F-101A were designed  as fighter escorts for the    B-36 Peacemaker Strategic Bomber. However the F-101A lacked range to perform this mission. Ultimately the Strategic Air Command cancelled this requirement and production was earmarked for the Tactical Air Command.  

A total of 77 F-101As were  built and assigned to TACs 81st Tactical Fighter Wing. The F-101As were soon followed by the F-101C of which 47 were built. The Air Defense Command, requiring  a supplement to the troubled F-102 program, turned to the two seat Interceptor version of the VooDoo, The F-101B. 

The F-101B first flew on March 27, 1957, almost 3 years after the F-101As maiden flight. The first F-101Bs were delivered to the 60th Interceptor Squadron at Otis AFB in Massachusetts on January 5, 1959. F-101Bs ended up equipping 18 air defense squadrons (the 2nd, 13th, 15th, 18th, 29th, 49th, 59th, 60th, 62nd, 75th, 83rd, 84th, 87th, 98th, 322nd, 437th, 444th, and 445th Fighter Interceptor Squadrons). F-101Bs also served with the 4570th Test Squadron and the 4756th CCTS (later designated the 2nd Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron), both based at Tyndall AFB in Florida. These units carried out operational suitability tests and training for the Air Defense Command. 

By March 1961 480 F-101Bs and 79 F-101Fs were delivered to ADC.  Once the teething troubles with its fire control system had been corrected, the F-101B proved to be a quite successful interceptor. However, it was outshone by the faster and more maneuverable Convair F-106A Delta Dart when that interceptor entered service.

F-101Bs began to leave active duty with the USAF beginning in 1969, many aircraft being passed along to the Air National Guard. The last active duty USAF squadrons to fly the F-101B were the 60th and 62nd FISs which were deactivated in April of 1971. In November of 1969, Washington Air National Guards 141th FIG / 116th FIS was one of the first two interceptor squadrons in the Air National Guard to receive VooDoos from ADC squadrons, a total of 7 squadrons would eventually fly the F-101. 

The 141st Fighter Interceptor Group's 116th Fighter Interceptor Squadron received it's first F-101 VooDoo aircraft in 1969. In seven years in the VooDoo the unit accumulated an outstanding record, 37,900 accident-free flying hours, receiving the 25th Air Division Flying Safety Award five years in a row. In July 1976 the 141th became the fifth Air National Guard unit to join the Strategic Air Command and convert to KC-135 Stratotankers, necessitating the move from Geiger Field to Fairchild Air Force Base. 

F-101 VooDoo's continued on with other Guard Fighter Interceptor Squadrons and one Active Air Force training unit until the early 80's. The last Voodoo in US service (F-101B-105-MC 58-0300) was retired by the 325 Fighter Weapons Wing's 2nd Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron at Tyndall AFB in Florida on September 21, 1982.

  • TYPE: Long –range all weather Interceptor

  • POWER: Two Pratt & Whitney J-75-P-55 turbojets  

  • SPEED: 1,221 mph  (Mach 1.85)

  • RANGE: 1,550 miles  

  • SERVICE CEILING: 52,100 ft

  • WEIGHT: 28,000 lbs. Empty; Max T/O 46,700 lbs.

  • DIMENSIONS: Span 36 ft. 8   in.,  Length 67 ft 4 3/4 in. Height 18 ft.

  • ARMAMENT: Two AIM-4D Falcon heat-seeking air to air missiles and  two AIR-2A Genie unguided nuclear rockets with 1.5 K warhead – armament mounted on rotary armament door.

  •  CREW: Pilot and Weapons Systems Operator

  •  COST: $1,819,000

·         McCHORD BASED UNITS -  None - 25th AD Units – Active- 322d FIS/408th FG, Kingsley Fld, OR (1959-1968) 59th FIS/408th FG, Kingsley Fld, OR, (1968-1969) - ANG -116th FIS/141th FIG, Fairchild AFB, WA (1967-1976), 123d FIS/142d FIG Portland IAP, OR (1971-1982) RCAF/ CAF- 409th Squadron, CFB Comox British Columbia, Canada (1961-1984) 

  • AIRCRAFT ON DISPLAY- F-101B 57-0294, 141 FIG / 116 FIS - WA ANG

Website provided and maintained by:
The McChord Air Museum Foundation
P.O. Box 4205
McChord AFB, WA. 98438-0205
e-mail - mamfound@mcchordairmuseum.org