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F-101 Voodoo

F-101 Voodoo Visual Arts American History Social Studies

This image depicts a McDonnell Douglass 101-F “Voodoo” aircraft.

The Federation of American Scientists provides more information about the F-101:

MCDONNELL F-101F "Voodoo"

Produced by McDonnell Aircraft Co., the F-101 was the first USAF fighter capable of over 1,000 mph in level flight. It was produced in two configurations:  air defense fighter (F-101B), and reconnaissance (RF-101A).

The F-101 was originally designed as a long-range bomber escort and penetration fighter for the Strategic Air Command.  However, with the development of high-speed, high-altitude jet bombers, escort fighters became unnecessary and the first Voodoos off the production line were assigned to the Tactical Air Command in 1957.  The first F-101 made its initial flight on September 29, 1954. The F-101B first flew on March 27, 1957. Voodoo production continued until March 1961.

McDonnell Aircraft Corporation built almost 800 Voodoos, including 47 F-101Cs with wings strengthened for low-altitude tactical bombing.   The version used most extensively was the two-seat F-101B interceptor which carried a pilot and a radar operator. 

In the RF-101A and RF-101C reconnaissance versions, the USAF had the world's first supersonic photo-reconnaissance aircraft.  RF-101s were used extensively for low altitude photo coverage of missile sites during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and during the late 1960s in Southeast Asia.  F-101F aircraft were modified B models with only minor exterior differences.

Each F-101 cost about $1,819,000.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Federation of American Scientists.

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