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Boeing RC-135

Multi-Role, Multi-Mission Reconnaissance Aircraft

Boeing RC-135

Multi-Role, Multi-Mission Reconnaissance Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Boeing RC-135 serves as the basis for a family of reconnaissance aircraft used by the United States Air Force.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1962
MANUFACTURER(S): Boeing Aircraft Company - USA
PRODUCTION: 32
OPERATORS: United Kingdom; United States
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Boeing RC-135 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 27
LENGTH: 136.48 feet (41.6 meters)
WIDTH: 130.91 feet (39.9 meters)
HEIGHT: 41.67 feet (12.7 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 175,367 pounds (79,545 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 321,875 pounds (146,000 kilograms)
ENGINE: 4 x CFM International F-108-CF-201 turbofan engines developing 22,000lb thrust each.
SPEED (MAX): 581 miles-per-hour (935 kilometers-per-hour; 505 knots)
RANGE: 3,449 miles (5,550 kilometers; 2,997 nautical miles)
CEILING: 49,869 feet (15,200 meters; 9.44 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 4,900 feet-per-minute (1,494 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



Mission-specific equipment as related to reconnaissance.
VARIANTS



Series 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-135A
• RC-135B
• 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")






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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (581mph).

    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 Boeing RC-135'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
32
32

  * 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
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.