F-101

Bill flew the F-101 Voodoo, also known as the “F-One-Oh-Wonder” during his early USAF career. He flew out of Hamilton Field in California with the 84th FIS.  The “B” was equipped with Falcon and two nuclear tipped Genie air to air missiles.  It set the time to climb record but had a nasty habit of “pitching up”  end-over-end at high angles of attack which required 15,000 feet to recover… a tough problem to handle when turning base leg!  Otherwise, she was a Cadillac in flight.  RF-101′s saw much service in Vietnam in high speed recce as flown by Bill’s good friend and squadron commander, Col Jim Brickel (Now LtGen (ret)).

Technical Specs

  • Speed: 1221 mph
  • Range: 1,550 miles
  • Service Ceiling: 54,800 feet
  • Wingspan: 39’ 7”
  • Length: 67’ 4”
  • Height: 18’ 0”
  • Weight: 52,400 lbs max

Engine

  • 2× Pratt & Whitney J57-P-55 afterburning turbojets
  • 11960 lbf thrust, 16,905 lbf thrust with afterburners

General Information

The F101 was a supersonic fighter designed and built by McDonnell-Douglas. Originally intended for use by Strategic Air Command as a long-range bomber escort, it ultimately became a nuclear-armed fighter bomber for use by Tactical Air Command and later as a photo reconnaissance platform. Numerous variants of the aircraft were used by the USAF, Air National Guard, and the Canadian Forces. While the aircraft was moderately successful, it was perhaps most influential as a developmental stepping stone to later aircraft such as the F-4 Phantom.