Douglas B-66 Destroyer

1952

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Douglas B-66 Destroyer

US Air Force involvement in the Korean War highlighted an urgent need for a high performance day/night tactical bomber. To speed the availability of such an aircraft it was planned to procure a land-based version of the A3D Skywarrior then being developed for the US Navy. To this end Douglas was given a contract for five pre-production Douglas RB-66A all-weather/night photo-reconnaissance aircraft, the first of which was flown on 28 June 1954 at the Long Beach plant. Although retaining the basic overall configuration of the A3D Skywarrior, the USAF's RB-66A Destroyer dispensed with the arrester gear, strengthened landing gear and wing-folding of the naval version; it introduced aerodynamic changes in the wing design, revised accommodation for the three-man crew who were provided with ejection seats, and detail changes in equipment, including a multiple-camera installation and the provision of bombing and navigation radar. Power for this initial version was provided by two 4341kg thrust Allison YJ71-A-9 turbojets. Successful testing of the RB-66As led to a contract for the first production version, the RB-66B powered by 4627kg thrust Allison J71-A-11s or J71-A-13s. The first of 145 RB-66Bs was flown in March 1955 and deliveries to the USAF began on 1 February 1956.

Production versions included also the B-66B bomber (72 built), which had the same powerplant as the RB-66B and could carry up to 6804kg of bombs in place of reconnaissance equipment; the RB-66C (36 built), which was an electronic reconnaissance and ECM-aircraft with J71-A-11 or J71-A-13 turbojets and a crew of seven including five specialist radar operators, four of them accommodated in what had initially been the bomb bay; and the WB-66D (36 built) combat-area weather reconnaissance aircraft with J71-A-13 engines and a crew of five (two plus equipment in the bomb bay).

ECM versions of the B-66/RB-66 proved of great value during operations in Vietnam, locating, classifying and jamming enemy radars, but withdrawal of US forces from Southeast Asia brought retirement of these aircraft.

3-View 
Douglas B-66 DestroyerA three-view drawing (1000 x 567)

Specification 
 MODELRB-66B
 ENGINE2 x Allison J71-A-11 or J71-A-13 turbojets, 4627kg each
 WEIGHTS
  Take-off weight37648 kg83000 lb
  Empty weight19720 kg43475 lb
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan22.1 m73 ft 6 in
  Length22.9 m75 ft 2 in
  Height7.19 m24 ft 7 in
  Wing area72.46 m2779.95 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
  Max. speed1015 km/h631 mph
  Cruise speed845 km/h525 mph
  Ceiling11855 m38900 ft
  Range3000 km1864 miles
 ARMAMENT2 x 20mm rear-firing cannon

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 81-100 101-120
ROBERT DYE, e-mail, 11.08.2021 19:15

I worked on every RB-66 at long beach as an assembler after I hired on in july 1953. I remember number 9 as she came through the line: one- a wing jack's hydraulics slipped and drove the support into the wing. two: while she sat on the flight line with a cargo net over the cockpit blew off during pressure test, three first flight pilot returned due to electric fire, four while at Edwards AFB she flipped during a chibasco, five, pilot over shot the runway upon return to LB for repairs taking off the first 76 inches of the fuselage as it hit embankment on Lakewood Blvd. The pilot took off across running. The ship was finally scrapped as a jinks. I watched as she made her last landing at LONG BEACH. What a sight, something I will always remember. I later went on to managing the ground support for the DM-18 missle program

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ROBERT DYE, e-mail, 11.08.2021 19:15

I worked on every RB-66 at long beach as an assembler after I hired on in july 1953. I remember number 9 as she came through the line: one- a wing jack's hydraulics slipped and drove the support into the wing. two: while she sat on the flight line with a cargo net over the cockpit blew off during pressure test, three first flight pilot returned due to electric fire, four while at Edwards AFB she flipped during a chibasco, five, pilot over shot the runway upon return to LB for repairs taking off the first 76 inches of the fuselage as it hit embankment on Lakewood Blvd. The pilot took off across running. The ship was finally scrapped as a jinks. I watched as she made her last landing at LONG BEACH. What a sight, something I will always remember. I later went on to managing the ground support for the DM-18 missle program

reply

ROBERT DYE, e-mail, 11.08.2021 19:15

I worked on every RB-66 at long beach as an assembler after I hired on in july 1953. I remember number 9 as she came through the line: one- a wing jack's hydraulics slipped and drove the support into the wing. two: while she sat on the flight line with a cargo net over the cockpit blew off during pressure test, three first flight pilot returned due to electric fire, four while at Edwards AFB she flipped during a chibasco, five, pilot over shot the runway upon return to LB for repairs taking off the first 76 inches of the fuselage as it hit embankment on Lakewood Blvd. The pilot took off across running. The ship was finally scrapped as a jinks. I watched as she made her last landing at LONG BEACH. What a sight, something I will always remember. I later went on to managing the ground support for the DM-18 missle program

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Michael J. Byram, e-mail, 17.06.2020 00:01

My name is MSgt Michael "Jay" Byram (ret.), my father is Capt Jimmie H. Byram USAF (ret). I was wondering if anyone who frequents this website might know him or perhaps served with him? My brother and I accompanied him to the Las Vegas B-66 convention year before last. He is approaching 91, not in particularly good health and I know it would mean a lot to him if any of you who might have served with him could offer a hello or a brief story via my email. He was medically retired in 1962 as a result of losing an eye in a civilian plane crash; he retired out of Shaw. Thank you. Jay Byram

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kyle flanary, e-mail, 23.05.2020 02:45

I crewed 66's at Chambley, Takhli, and Shaw from 65-68. Would enjoy hearing from anyone who crewed or flew them.

Am especially interested in hearing from some of my old buds Cady, Bowers, Bozant, Odom, et al.

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LES KODISH, e-mail, 16.03.2018 08:45

I ALSO WAS AT SHAW 62-65. AND MADE C /C ON THE B-66B.
ALSO WORKED ON THE F-4C, 101'S. THAT WAS A GREAT TIME
SERVING MY CO.

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bruce t clark, e-mail, 25.08.2017 16:17

I was an avionocs instrument tech from 1958 till 1962 at raf sculthorpe in great Britain

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Herman Dorr, e-mail, 09.08.2017 22:40

I was an aircraft mech. On the RB-66 at Shaw AFB Sumter SC from 1956-1960. Enjoyed working on them and watching them fly. There is one in the Warner Robins air museum in Warner Robins Ga.

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Blaine Sevy`, e-mail, 06.07.2017 06:04

Son of CMSgt George W. Sevy stationed at Sculthrope AFB, England from 1959 to 1963. Got to fly the semilator for the B66 during one of the open houses the base had. Just a high school kid but thought it was cool. My dad worked in shop schedueling. Went into the Air Force in Jan 1966 and was trained in POL. Was at Tyndall in Florida and then at Clark AFB in the Phillipines. Never saw another B66, but got to put lots of fuel on lots of different planes.

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Charles Fuller, e-mail, 30.04.2017 20:41

I was stationed at RAF Chelveston England 1960-1962 and Toul-Rosiers France 1962-1963. I
Was an EWO on the C model and also flew as the third man in the Royal Flush photo competitions 1961 & 1962. Great fun!!!🇺🇸

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Carter Floyd, e-mail, 05.03.2017 22:23

Was a Crew Chief at Toul till the B66s were sent to Chambley along with most of my buddies. Was working F4s when de Gaulle gave is the boot. Fondest memory of the B-66 was dropping the engine tubs on post flight.
Release all but the last latch, hold the tub up with one hand, release the last latch, and run because EVERYTHING leaked and the tubs were always full. Didn't see another one till one diverted to Ubon, Thailand in '67.

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Kyle Flanary, e-mail, 23.05.2020 Carter Floyd

You don't know me, but I was also cc on the 66's at Chambley, then Tahkli RTAFB Thailand, then Shaw AFB. Gou out Oct 68.
I was at Ubon tdy in 67 with about 10 B66's for about two weeks. We may have been to the same bars !

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james locut, e-mail, 13.01.2017 06:14

flew out of tul with the 42nd 63 thru 65 loved that old bird have many memories of good fellow airmen had very good maint.men and find it odd but of the remaining b66s on display now I flew on two of them still have copies of flight plans crewed with Capt. Jerry S Grines pilot and 1st. Lt. Tom Berkey who I am still in contact with 52 years later, I flew as flt.eng in gunner seat and pulled many Echo alerts

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Donald Porter, e-mail, 31.10.2016 03:42

I remember working with Jerry Gisclair. I didn't know he had a nickname. Was at Takhli the last half of 68 and 1 half of 69. When I got back to the states, I less than 6 mos left of my enlistment so at that time, the policy was to get discharged

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Billy Newman, e-mail, 16.08.2016 21:31

Iwas on the first det out of Chambly afb FRANCE. We left out of there in the back of a c-130 with aboot 25 troops and some ground suppor equipt which turned in to bunks. We made numerous stops, we didnt fly over the top we took th long way. Our stops were azores nas norfolk califonia Hawaii and wake island cadena into taklhi at night.A trip made in heaven. If Iremember right it took 7 days and nights and we flew first class ok uncle.

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Dennis Hunter, CMSGT Ret, 08.08.2016 06:31

Worked on the RB-66B as a Crew Chief assigned to the 1st Tac Recon Sqdrn, 10th Tac Recon Wg at RAF Alconbury from Dec 1962 until we transitioned onto RF-4Cs in mid 1965. Continued to work on the RF-4 until I rotated in Dec 1966. For the first two years I was assigned to the Squadron, I was the only black mechanic which presented a few challenges from time to time, but overall this was by far the best assignment out of my 22yrs

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Larry Snow, e-mail, 06.06.2016 06:12

My name is Larry Snow. I was a pilot flying the B-66B. Pilot, Navigator and EWO was the crew on this model. I flew out of Takhli, Thailand 1967. I was flying F-101's at Dow AFB, Maine, my first assignment after pilot training. After less than a year flying the F-101, the Air Force called me saying I was assigned to fly the B-66 assigned to a secret Zip code, (it was Takhli). I asked why the B-66? Because I had been an EWO on B-52s at Travis AFB, California before being a pilot. It turned out to be great pilot assignment, over 500 hours, and true, it would do nice barrel rolls. Before leaving Takhli, they made me flight check pilot after maintenance work. I even flew a B-66 from Takhli to Tulsa, Oklahoma for over haul. What a trip, following a KC-135, weather delays, having to take a higher altitude than normal for refuelling. A challenge for sure between Guam and Hawaii! Looking back, I had a great time in that aircraft. Larry L. Snow pilot.snow@att.net

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Mark Roessler, e-mail, 21.04.2016 21:56

My father in law flew the EB-66 LTC William Kniffin and trying to find more information or stories about him if any of you out there knew him.
Bill passed away in 1991 and retired from the Air Force in 1973. I married his oldest daughter Kim, but he past away before I met him.
Thanks,
Mark

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Joe Gosnell, e-mail, 25.02.2016 00:38

I was a cc with the 39th on B-66 at Shaw AFB 69-72 and did 2 TDY's to Korat in 70,71,and 72 with the 42nd TEWS. Loved the aircraft.

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Jerry "Truck" Gisclair, e-mail, 23.12.2015 22:43

I was an ECM technician stationed at Takhli RTAFB in Thailand. I was fortunate to get on flying status my last 6 months in 1969. Flew several "test" missions and had a blast with one particular pilot. On one of the test flights, we flew at full throttle at approx. 300 ft. over some flat lands (heavy air) and then the pilot elevated and we actually did a "barrel roll", an experience that I will never forget. A great old aircraft...........

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george d ward, e-mail, 04.07.2015 01:31

i was crew chief eb66 tail # 496 at takhli thailand 1967 68 boy what a aircrft to work on but i loved it so say way dee cup

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