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Boeing RC-135 - United States, 1962

Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing RC-135 Multi-Role, Multi-Mission Reconnaissance Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 9/2/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Boeing RC-135  
Picture of Boeing RC-135
Picture of Boeing RC-135 Picture of Boeing RC-135

The Boeing RC-135 serves as the basis for a family of reconnaissance aircraft used by the United States Air Force.

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Boeing RC-135 Specifications

Service Year: 1962
Type: Multi-Role, Multi-Mission Reconnaissance Aircraft
National Origin: United States
Manufacturer(s): Boeing Aircraft Company - USA
Total Production: 32

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 27
Overall Length: 136.48 feet (41.6 meters)
Overall Width: 130.91 feet (39.90 meters)
Overall Height: 41.67 feet (12.70 meters)

Weight (Empty): 175,367 lb (79,545 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 321,875 lb (146,000 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

Engine: 4 x CFM International F-108-CF-201 turbofan engines developing 22,000lb thrust each.

Maximum Speed: 505 knots (581 mph; 935 kph)
Maximum Range: 2,997 nautical miles (3,449 miles; 5,550 km)
Service Ceiling: 49,869 feet (15,200 meters; 9.44 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 4,900 feet-per-minute (1,494 m/min)

Armament / Mission Payload

Mission-specific equipment as related to reconnaissance.

Global Operators (Customers, Users)

United Kingdom; United States

Model Variants

KC-135 - Base Series Designation
Model 739 - Boeing Model
KC-135A - Base reconnaissance model
KC-135R ("Rivet Stand"/"Rivet Quick")
KC-135T "Cobra Jaw"
RC-135C "Big Team"
RC-135D ("Office Boy"/"Rivet Brass")
RC-135E ("Rivet Ann"/"Rivet Amber")
RC-135M "Rivet Card"
RC-135S ("Nancy Rae"/"Wanda Belle"/"Rivet Ball")
RC-135S "Cobra Ball"
RC-135T "Rivet Dandy"
RC-135U "Combat Sent"
RC-135V "Rivet Joint"
RC-135W "Rivet Joint"
RC-135W "Rivet Joint" ("Project Airseeker")

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