UPDATE: Vintage aircraft flies again (with help)
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) --The totem of Chattanooga's wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard, is taking flight.
The 241st Engineering Installation Squadron is moving the "static display" from its old home at Lovell Field to its new headquarters on Bonnie Oaks Drive.
"To get to move a vintage aircraft like this is pretty cool," says Detachment Commander Maj. Marty Malone.
The aircraft became airborne Wednesday, thanks to the 118th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron based out of Nashville, but not under her own power. She hasn't had that, since landing at Lovell 29 years ago.
"It was a General's last flight," Maj. Malone says. "They work on airplanes all the time. But not this airplane; this is an F-101 Voodoo."
The lore is contradictory, as to how the war bird got her nickname; the sound of its supersonic jets or the stealth of its missions.
A Cold War fighter-bomber and interceptor became a spy plane during the Vietnam era.
"It's a plane they've never seen before. It's definitely a history lesson," Maj. Malone says.
It was also a not-so-crash-course in higher math too.
"It don't weigh 150 tons, we're in good shape on that weight," trucking company owner Bill Brown says.
The Voodoo is riding on Brown's flatbed, once she's harnessed and hoisted.
Guard members clipped her wings from the get-go Saturday. That alone shaved off about four tons, leaving her a svelte eight tons, minus the guns, engines and gas tanks. That still leaves the bird 67 feet long and 18 feet high.
"We have to get her over a barbed-wire fence," Senior Master Sgt. Daryl Roberts tells his disassembly crew. "We're gonna have four tether operators. Start the swing one person at a time, will throw their tether over the fence."
How hard can that be? Put it this way: the crane bills, by the hour. The flatbed?
"I told my son, you've got all day," Brown says. "And tomorrow and the next day. You just take your time, and make sure we get there safe and sound."
A five mile journey, down Airport Road to Shallowford Road, north on Highway 153, then east on Bonny Oaks to the new home of 241st.
"It's not gonna be all that much trouble," Brown says.
He's betting the trip will take two hours.
But getting the Voodoo back together for the static display?
"Probably in the spring, we'll give her a new paint job and spruce, up, all to make her look as great as possible," Maj. Malone says.
In a new nest, she's likely never to leave.
The aircraft is expected to be moved Wednesday afternoon and reassembled over the next week.