Near Toulouse. This association restored an American plane (and the result is incredible)
By Anthony Assemat
In recent years, the association of Old Wings has specialized in the restoration of many models of aircraft, often legendary, but also in the but to bring other models out of oblivion. Aircraft that visitors regularly have the opportunity to admire during cockpit tours, the last edition of which was held on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 June 2022.
The Voodoo, a “typical American fighter”
In just a few years, the list of airplanes restored by these aeronautical lovers from Toulouse is impressive, notably with models of Breguet, Cessna, Socata, Dassault Falcon and Mirage… In all, nearly 120 devices are pampered by the volunteers of the Ailes Anciennes. And the family has grown since the association, helped by many volunteers, has just completed the restoration of a McDonnell F-101 Voodoo. “The Voodoo is the typical American fighter: big, powerful, heavy, well equipped. For the record, its French contemporary was the Mystery IV”, indicates the association, which continues the presentation of this juggernaut of the air.
“His mission was the air defense of the United States and Canada against bombers coming over the North Pole. He served in this role from 1959 to 1984. The rare Voodoo exported were 25 reconnaissance aircraft used by Taiwan to fly over China and 132 Canada-ready fighters in two successive batches.
This aircraft, which was on display at the last event around the cockpits, served with the Minnesota Air National Guard. He arrived in December 1990 from Davis Monthan (Arizona) on loan from the US Air Force Museum. The aircraft was graciously transported by the French Navy.
A restoration started in 2005
Its restoration, started in 2005, was not an easy task. “The restoration and reassembly of the missile bay is complete. Many fuselage plates have been redone (they were made of magnesium and were eaten away by corrosion) as well as the landing gear and engine compartments,” explains Les Ailes Anciennes. Note that the plane was repainted in its Minnesota Air National Guard colors in 2020.
Next restoration: the Epsilon TB 30
The Voodoo has been added to recently restored models like the dragonthe Lockheed F-104G Starfighter and the Noratlas. “Our next restoration project concerns the Epsilon TB 30, which we will seek to Cognac (Charente) in July 2022”, specifies Jean-Claude Cathala, the vice-president of Ailes Anciennes.
>> In video: the painting of the plane, in timelapse <
A prestigious evening to present Voodoo
Thursday, June 30, 2022, the Association des Ailes Anciennes is organizing a special – and prestigious – evening around the restoration of the McDonnell F-101 Voodoo. An evening with double relaxation since it will also be placed under the sign of the 246th anniversary of the Independence of the United States, declared on July 4, 1776. Kristen Grauer, Consul General of the United States in France, will be the exceptional guest of this ceremony.
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