The CF-101 Voodoo was an all-weather interceptor aircraft that served in an air defence role between 1961 and 1984.
These aircraft came from the United States Air Force (USAF) and replaced the Canadian built CF-100 in the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) role.
The CF-101 Voodoo carried a pilot and an airborne interception (AI) navigator. A total of 66 CF-101 aircraft were procured and distributed between five squadrons. All of these squadrons maintained armed 5-minute air defence alerts from Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) facilities. Pilots usually slept with all of their flight gear laid out. Waking up quickly from a deep sleep could be tough!
In the early 1970s, Canada exchanged Canadian Voodoos for American Voodoos with enhanced fire control systems and infrared sighting/tracking systems. The last CF-101 Voodoos were phased out in July 1984 and replaced by the CF-18 in the air defence role.
One pilot remembers the Voodoo as a "brute of an airplane" since it was very big and noisy, even inside the cockpit. But this same noise made it very popular at airshows.
Because the issue of nuclear weapons in Canada had yet to be resolved when the CF-101 was introduced into service, CF-101s were only armed with AIM-4D Falcon missiles at first. Following a 1963 agreement with the United States, nuclear AIR-2A Genie rockets became available in Canada, which became the primary CF-101 weapon.
This rocket was meant to explode in front of oncoming aircraft, creating a deadly blast radius that would destroy approaching aircraft. The AIR-2A Genie rockets remained the property of the United States and would only be released to Canada for actual use according to the joint NORAD agreement. They remained under the custody of the USAF detachments at each CF-101 operational base.
CF-101 - Voodoo
- Crew - 2 (pilot, navigator)
- Maximum Takeoff Weight - 15,200 Kg
- Powerplant -2 x Pratt & Whitney J57-P55
- Thrust - 10,200 lbf each
- Thrust with Afterburner - 16,000 lbf each
- Maximum Speed - Mach 1.7 or 1,300 mph at 35,000 ft
- Service Ceiling - 16,500 m, 54,000 ft
- Range - 2,400 km, 1,500 miles
- Rate of Climb - 45 m/s
- 2x AIR-2A Genie unguided nuclear rockets with 1.5 kt warhead
- 2x AIM-4D Falcon heat-seeking air-to-air missles