The two seat Voodoo resulted from a USAF requirement in 1946 for a long range escort fighter to be paired up with the Strategic Air Commands (SAC) B-36 intercontinental bomber. SAC withdrew its support before the F-101 first flight in September 1954; this was due to the end of the Korea war and the development of the B-52 bomber. The resulting F-101A became a long range fighter with limited nuclear strike ability, entering service in 1957. Like many aircraft of this Cold War period its front line service was short lived. The dedicated recon variant, the RF-101B/C proved to have a longer service life, and saw service during the Vietnam War and during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. An upgraded F-101C was also produced in limited numbers; the aircraft was retired from US service in 1966 with the Canadian Air force’s CF-101’s remaining in service until 1984 where the aircrafts long range suited the Canadian requirements. In total 885 Voodoo’s were produced
As a combat aircraft the Voodoo was an important evolutionary step towards the F-4 Phantom design which replaced it as a fighter bomber, with the Phantom inheriting the twin engine, twin crew design and a tail mounted well above the Jet exhausts.
Max Speed; Mach 1.85
Operational range; 1,550 miles
Weapon load; A mix of nuclear tipped rockets and 4-6 Air to air missiles, F-101A also had 3-4 20mm cannon.