CF-101 Voodoo, Unsung Guardian of the North

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With the meta racing towards evermore modern jets, it might be worth looking back at the gems hidden in the shadow of giants, such as the F-101 Voodoos; in this case, the F-101B that served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1961 to 1984.

History

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After the cancellation of the CF-105 Avro Arrow project in 1959, the Canadian government required new aircraft to serve as interceptors against Soviet bombers as a part of the joint defense under the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD); a role previously fulfilled by their aging fleet of CF-100 Canucks. It was decided that this would be fulfilled by the McDonnell F-101B Voodoo that entered deployment earlier that year, and in June 1961, fifty-six Voodoos from the USAF surplus stocks were brought into Canadian service (sources that indicate 66 Voodoos obtained included the ten F-101F trainers). These planes would find themselves in 409 (Nighthawk), 410 (Cougar), 414 (Black Knight), 416 (Lynx), and 425 (Alouette/Lark) Squadron over the years.
In 1969 to 1971, Operation Peace Wing saw fifty-six of the original aircraft returned to the US to be replaced by another sixty-six of the updated F-101B (a visual identification of the first batch is the absence of the IR sensor on the nose).
In the two decades of its service, it would operate with the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) network and could scramble at a moment’s notice to defend Canadian airspace with its armament of two AAM and - if needed be - AIR-2 Genie nuclear rockets kept by the USAF. Despite its excellent performance at the time, its serviceability was a problem that would grow over the years. In 1977, a search was underway to find its replacement. This would be decided in April of 1980 that the “CF-18” was to be McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. Ultimately, the Voodoo was phased out in 1984 and last flown in April 1987.

Specifications

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Sometimes the values for a given field fluctuate between sources. I’ll apply the number that is the most reoccurring.

Length: 67 ft 5 in (20.55 m) Some sources mentions that the plane is around 71 ft long, this measurement includes the long pitot static boom on the nose.

Wingspan: 39 ft 8 in (12.1 m)

Height: 18 ft (5.5 m)

Empty Weight: 27,117 lbs (12,300 kg)

Maximum Take-Off Weight: 52,911 lbs (24,000 kg) It should be noted that a source mentions that the aircraft’s gross weight is 54,664 lb or 24,796 kg, so the MTOW might be more

Maximum Speed: 1,134 mph (1,825 km/h) Sources would indicate that it can achieve Mach 1.7, however.

Service Ceiling: 54,800 ft (16,700 m)

Powerplant: x2 Pratt & Whitney J57-P-55 turbojets (12,000 lbf dry and 17,000/16,700/16,900/16,000 lbf with afterburner)

Crew: 2 (Pilot, Airborne Interception Navigator)

Fire Control System: Hughes MG-13 radar

Armament: 4 hardpoints, two on each side of a rotating pallet.

    • x2 AIM-4D “Falcon” AAM
    • x2 AIR-2A (formerly MB-1) “Genie” Air-to-Air Nuclear Rockets, always stowed internally in the weapons bay.
      Rocket motor activates for two seconds, accelerates to Mach 3.3, and has a flight time of about 10 seconds. The fuse for the 1.5kT W-25 warhead is armed only after the motor is spent and has a reported lethal blast radius of 300m.


More Images

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Canadian CF-101 can be distingusished from later USAF Voodoos by the absence of a scoop for the primary refrigeration air intake just left of the nose landing gear, instead opting for a simple intake slot
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Liveries

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Original, first revision, second revision, third revision (now in light grey as opposed to shiny metal finish/silver paint), Hawk One Canada, Lark/Alouette One Canada, Lynx Squadron, and the “Electric Voodoos” of the 414 “Black Knight” Squadron; converted with electronic warfare package.
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Sources

Primary Source

Secondary Sources

Sources for the AIR-2 Genie

Notable Image Source

2 Likes

The Voodoo in Canadian service? yes, please.

+1.

Hopefully with a Canadian tech tree so it’s not locked to being an unattainable event vehicle.

4 Likes

Not really a fan of missiles-only aircraft

Me neither, although this was a trend for a little while. If this gets added, US inevitably would get their Voodoos too, in which case you can always fly the F-101A, which came with four 20mm M39 cannons.

+1, love to see more Canadian representation in game. However, skeptical since the only weapons are an unguided nuclear rocket which would probably be far too effective and wipe the entire lobby lol, or the horribly unreliable AIM-4, which performed terribly in Vietnam and requires the missile to impact the target to kill…

Yeah, I’m morbidly curious about how the AIR-2 will perform. It has a blast diameter of over half a kilometre. If I’m understanding this right, you can’t really dial back on its timer and it needs to fly that full ten seconds or so before naturally blowing up (it’s acceleration phase of 2 seconds before warhead arming should prevent it from being used against ground targets unless you are reaaallly high up, at that point you aren’t even aiming); so that means you probably got to aim it with a 10 seconds lead somehow, something to do with onboard targeting radar assist? It probably can’t adequately target constantly-maneuvering smaller planes and fighters and bombers should be spread apart enough by the time you come within radar lock range with it?

1 Like

+1, the Voodoo should be seen in War Thunder.

I think the F/CF-101 should be added, although it would be decidedly non-meta.

The AIR-2A would be a nightmare to balance, but there were other Genie variants with HE warheads (OK only small ones for training but hey, can’t have everything on a plate).

People go to great lengths to dis the AIM-4 and actively lobby prevent it’s addition to the game. To heck with that when there are so many useless weapons added already on user request (looking hard at AP bombs for example , so useless especially in low tiers). They were also more effective than AIM-7s in Vietnam (where’s the anti-sparrow narrative,?) but of course it’s all about the unimpressive F-4 use, a type not exactly making a good match. Plus Sweden will finally get them…yay!?!

But at least it has a historical relevance a lot of additions lack so there at least one + point.

So yes it will suck, the weapons themselves will suck, in these days of tactical centric gameplay it will suck…perfect never-to-be-played-after-the-event fodder.

3 Likes

Yeah, I figured it’d be pretty dead on arrival, especially since Gaijin already zoomed past all the early Cold War jets like it’s nobody’s business. Although if there are more things from this era, we can inevitably carve out a spot in the tech tree should the BR range decompress again. And yep, the weapon aren’t great but there are a bunch of already cruddy weapons as you said, haha. As for the AIR-2s, as mentioned above it’s biggest drawback is probably the massive lead you have to perform in any situation that isn’t a head-on. And this of course depends if Gaijin will consider adding in bombers into this BR bracket since I doubt it will do any good against fighters (unless they are absolutely unaware or tangled in a very very close furball, then it’d be the Air RB version of a PE-8 bomb).