Although bearing an earlier suffix letter, the F-101B interceptor was predated by the F-101C.
The only major difference between the A and C F-101 models was the strengthening of the internal structure of the F-101C to the 7.33 g specified by GOR 101.
Production of the F-101C, so designated in September 1956, was in fact initiated by a March 1956 letter contract, calling for an additional number of F-101As. In December of the same year, however, the combined F-101A and C program was reduced to a total of 124 aircraft.
The first aircraft accepted for the combat forces came in August 1957.
The F-101C entered operational service in September 1957 with the 523d Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) of the 27th Fighter Bomber wing.
Other configurations of the F-101C included the RF-101C, the RF-101G, and the RF-101H.
A total of 47 F-101Cs were accepted. By the end of 1958, 17 F-101Cs had been deployed to Europe. The USAFE Voodoos were stationed in England with the Royal Air Force at Bentwaters.
The flyaway cost per production aircraft was $1,276,145.00--airframe, $803,022; engines (installed), $287,764; electronics, $61,079; ordnance, $441; armament, $123,839.
Average maintenance cost per flying hour was $362.00.
It was an F-101C that established an FAI world speed record at 1,207 mph at Edwards AFB in December, 1957. Moreover, McDonnell's Voodoo remained the fastest tactical fighter in operational service until the advent of the F-104.
For all practical purposes, the F-101C left USAF inventory in mid-1966, when 31 of the 47 7.33 g aircraft were assigned to the ANG. Several major flying accidents and a number of conversions during the preceding years accounted for most of the original fleet.
In addition to speed, a striking feature of the F-101 was its 1,000 mile unrefueled range. The aircraft could also be refueled in flight by the flying boom or the probe and drogue methods. On 28 May 1958 two F-101Cs from Bergstrom AFB, Tex., made a nonstop, round trip flight of 5,600 miles. On 28 June, four F-101Cs flew nonstop from Andrews AFB, Md., to Liege, Belgium, at an average speed of 640 mph. In August of the same year, a flight of seven Voodoos completed a 6,100 mile nonstop deployment from Bergstrom to Bentwaters, England.
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