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The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Restoration of McDonnell Voodoo Display in Florissant Completed

By Carmelo Turdo
The McDonnell Aircraft F-101F Voodoo on display near the James J. Eagan Civic Center in Florissant, MO has been restored by a team of volunteer craftsmen and aviation historians.  The aircraft, s/n 58-0269, was produced as a combat-capable, operational dual-control trainer and retrofitted with the infrared sensor and fire-control system under Project Bold Journey.  The aircraft was retired from the 11th FIS, Ellington AFB, Texas in 1979 due to wing root corrosion, and was brought to Florissant in 2004 still in Texas ANG colors.  It was later painted in overall light gray with the names of McDonnell test pilots Joe Dobronski and Bill Ross on the canopy frame.  Recently, a spate of vandalism left graffiti and fire damage mainly on the left fuselage and intake, necessitating another round of restoration.  The aircraft is again in beautiful condition, with a new paved walkway around the display site atop a hill on the grounds, and a marker dedicating the aircraft to those in military service.  Special thanks to the volunteers and Florissant maintenance staff who contributed months of work on the project, some of which are members of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society.

Here are some views of the aircraft at various times at the Florissant, MO location before, during and after the current restoration:



1 comment:

John Windsor said...

Very cool to see this aircraft renewed to its former glory. I was part of the team which traveled to Ellington to disassemble it for transport to Victoria TX in the early 1990's, to be put on display at the regional airport. At that time it was seriously corroded and the paint was heavily oxidized. As I recall it was sitting near the end of a runway next to an F-106 Delta Dart that was in just slightly better shape.

Hard to believe that this is the same aircraft.