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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












Friday, November 28, 2014

F-101 Pilots Relate Their Experiences With the Voodoo During Flight Tests and Operations in Hot and Cold Wars


By Carmelo Turdo
The Missouri Aviation Historical Society hosted a 60th anniversary commemoration of the first flight of the McDonnell Aircraft F-101 Voodoo November 15 at the James J. Eagan Community Center in Florissant, Missouri.  The special event was held at the Florissant location to accommodate the larger expected audience and incorporate into the event activities the F-101F Voodoo (s/n 58-0269) on display in the adjacent Florissant Valley Park.  Florissant, a northern St. Louis County suburb known for being in close proximity to the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation (later McDonnell Douglas and now Boeing) manufacturing complex located at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, experienced a population boom from 1947-1980 during the company's rapid growth period. 

The main event of the day was the gathering of some of the Voodoo team veterans for a panel discussion.  Missouri Aviation Historical Society President Dan O'Hara opened the session, and then turned over the panel moderation to local pilot, aviation historian and publisher Gary Liming.  Eight members of the panel answered questions about their involvement in the F-101 program from their manufacturing, flight testing or military service experience.  Topics ranged from flying characteristics to combat tactics to the workings of various hardware aboard the jet.  We present several video clips from the event, each addressing a different topic requested by the panel moderator or a member of the audience.   

Members of the Panel (L-R): Chuck Fulton, Dan Venverloh, Dick Moffitt,
Joe Dobronski, Gary Liming, Bob West, Bob Gould, George Andre, and William Spurgeon





Bob Gould and George Andre describe their initial flights in the Voodoo:




George Andre' talks about the role of the F-101B interceptor:



Dan Venverloh and Bob Gould discuss the RF-101C reconnaissance cameras:



Joe Dobronski gives the test pilot view of the pitch-up issues with the Voodoo:



Bob Gould, Joe Dobronski and George Andre' pay tribute to the legacy of the Voodoo:



The Aero Experience wishes to thank Missouri Aviation Historical Society President Dan O'Hara and other members for organizing this event.  Special thanks to those guests from the McDonnell Aircraft and military communities who participated in the panel discussion and added their experiences.  Also, thanks to those who attended the event and showed support for the mission of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society.  

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