Military Factory logo
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships

McDonnell XF-88 Voodoo

Escort Fighter / Penetration Fighter Prototype

McDonnell XF-88 Voodoo

Escort Fighter / Penetration Fighter Prototype

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



Though a failed design in itself, the McDonnell XF-88 Voodoo did go on to become the successful F-101 Voodoo aircraft of the Cold War years.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1948
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): McDonnell Aircraft Corporation - USA
PRODUCTION: 2
OPERATORS: United States
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the McDonnell XF-88A Voodoo model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 54.13 feet (16.5 meters)
WIDTH: 39.70 feet (12.1 meters)
HEIGHT: 17.22 feet (5.25 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 12,147 pounds (5,510 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 18,519 pounds (8,400 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Westinghouse J34-WE-22 turbojet engines developing 3,600 lb of thrust each with afterburner (3,000 lb dry).
SPEED (MAX): 705 miles-per-hour (1135 kilometers-per-hour; 613 knots)
RANGE: 1,727 miles (2,780 kilometers; 1,501 nautical miles)
CEILING: 39,403 feet (12,010 meters; 7.46 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 8,000 feet-per-minute (2,438 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



STANDARD, FIXED:
6 x 20mm M39 cannons
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• XF-88 - Initial prototype; fitted with Westinghouse J34-13 turbojet engines; sans cannon armament.
• XF-88A - Second prototype completed; fitted with Westinghouse J-34-22 turbojet engines featuring early-form afterburners; armament to be added later.
• XF-88B - Initial prototype modified to accept the Allison XT38 turboprop engine in nose assembly; appearing in April 1953.
• F-101 "Voodoo" - Production Voodoo represents a larger design based on the initial XF-88 model prototypes - see F-101 Voodoo entry for model specific details.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the McDonnell XF-88 Voodoo Escort Fighter / Penetration Fighter Prototype.  Entry last updated on 11/18/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
World War 2 (1939-1945) showcased to American warplanners the importance of "escort fighters" for their bomber forces when traversing over enemy terrain. The value added by such platforms as the North American P-51 "Mustang", the Republic P-47 "Thunderbolt", and the Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" was as much a deciding factor for the Allies in the bombing campaign against Germany and Japan as wee the bombs dropped by Consolidated B-24 "Liberator" and Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress" bombers. As technology forced the hand of aeronautics into the jet age, the idea of escorting long-range bombers followed along. The McDonnell XF-88 "Voodoo" was prototyped in an effort to find a suitable counterpart to the growing list of long-range penetration bombers joining the inventory of the United States air service.

The XF-88 was classified as a "penetration fighter" and designed around a 1946 USAAF (United States Army Air Forces) requirement envisioning an aircraft with exceptional operational ranges. The resulting McDonnell design was granted two working prototypes in the form of the "XP-88" (the Air Force designation model would effectively change that to "XF-88" by 1948). The XF-88 featured swept-back wings fitted to streamlined fuselage with triangular intakes mounted at the wing roots. The jet exhaust would pass under the tail unit which featured a conventional arrangement - a single vertical fin being fitted with mid-mounted horizontal planes. An early model form sported a "Vee" tail but this approach was dropped when wind tunnel testing showed instability issues. The aircraft was crewed by one with the cockpit seated well-forward of midships, aft of a nose cone assembly. Proposed armament was 6 x M39 20mm cannons giving the fighter a considerable punch.

Only two flyable prototypes were ever produced for the program as it lost steam when the Air Force decided to go a different route, eventually dropping the idea of a penetration fighter. As such, the program was cancelled even after a North American design was initially selected to fulfill the requirement, the winner then itself dropped in favor of the McDonnell design. Completed Voodoo models were in the form of the XF-88, XF-88A, and the XF-88B.




McDonnell XF-88 Voodoo (Cont'd)

Escort Fighter / Penetration Fighter Prototype

McDonnell XF-88 Voodoo (Cont'd)

Escort Fighter / Penetration Fighter Prototype



XF-88 marked the initial prototype fitted with a Westinghouse J34-13 turbojet of 3,000 lb thrust and lacking armament. XF-88A then followed and installed a Westinghouse J-34-22 turbojet which featured an early version of afterburn. Armament for this airframe came later. XF-88B was given an Allison XT38 turboprop engine in its nose outputting 2,500 horsepower - this in addition to its turbojet engine installation - making it a "compound fighter" design relying on two propulsion methods. First flight of this form came on April 14th, 1953.

Though the direct XF-88 Voodoo design came to naught, the aircraft and its name were resurrected a time later when it became the McDonnell F-101 "Voodoo" venture. This aircraft, introduced in 1957 and seeing 807 examples produced, retained much of the form of the XF-88 including its sleek design, single vertical tailfin, and triangular air intakes and went on to see considerable combat service in the Vietnam War (1955-1975). The F-101 was a dimensionally larger, missile-armed aircraft modified for a new requirement.

The completed XF-88 prototypes carried serial numbers 46-525 and 46-526.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (705mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the McDonnell XF-88A Voodoo's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
2
2

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Supported Arsenal
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.