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Parks & Recreation

Posted on: May 12, 2021

City finalizing plans to move historic F-101F Voodoo to higher ground

F-101

May 12, 2021 - The F-101F Voodoo long-range escort fighter on display at the city's Air Power Park will take off sometime in the next week, with a little help from a crane,  to a higher-elevation spot in the park that is farther from Newmarket Creek.

The move is part of the nearly $2 million renovation of the park, partly funded by a Defense Department, Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation grant. While the plane is being moved, access to the park may be restricted for the public's safety.

Designed as a penetrator and long-range escort fighter, the F-101 Voodoo first appeared in 1954. The design was based on the earlier prototype XF-88, and no actual prototype F-101 was built. Later versions were used as long-range interceptors and reconnaissance aircraft. Built by McDonnell Aircraft of St. Louis, Missouri, it was delivered to the Air Force on September 26, 1958. The aircraft on display served with several active units and was again modified first to F-101F and later TF-101F configurations. Its last duty assignment was with the Air National Guard at Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan. It was retired in May 1972. Its markings currently represent an F-101B which was assigned to the 440th Air Defense Group at Langley Air Force Base. 

In 2018, the city embarked on a program to rejuvenate the city’s iconic Air Power Park that will continue for the next five years. Aircraft restoration was completed in 2019. In 2020, a drainage plan was developed and the park entrance was improved. 

After completing the move of the F-101F Voodoo, the project will immediately move on to the remaining aircraft and spacecraft, remounting them all by July 1, 2021.  After that, the work of installing the bulkhead and raising the ground level of the park will begin for completion in early 2022.  The future fourth and fifth phases will address needs of the architecturally significant museum building and develop programs and exhibits for the renewed park.

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