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.
|A three-view drawing (1000 x 567)|
| ENGINE||2 x Allison J71-A-11 or J71-A-13 turbojets, 4627kg each|
| Take-off weight||37648 kg||83000 lb|
| Empty weight||19720 kg||43475 lb|
| Wingspan||22.1 m||73 ft 6 in|
| Length||22.9 m||75 ft 2 in|
| Height||7.19 m||24 ft 7 in|
| Wing area||72.46 m2||779.95 sq ft|
| Max. speed||1015 km/h||631 mph|
| Cruise speed||845 km/h||525 mph|
| Ceiling||11855 m||38900 ft|
| Range||3000 km||1864 miles|
| ARMAMENT||2 x 20mm rear-firing cannon|
|Jerry Forbes, 27.04.2014|
Stationed at Shaw AFB, SC in 1956 as a Gunner. Transferred to Spangdalhem AFB, Germany from 1958 to 1962 with the B-66, but was grounded due to loss of hearing. The J-71's were really loud and high pitched. I loved every minute I flew in the aircraft.
|bruce clark, 25.04.2014|
I was stationed at RAF station sculthorpe with three squadrons of B66B and one squadron of KB50J tankers as an avionics instrument tech. in 1958 thru 1962 then transferred to Shaw AFB to work on the rb/ecmb66b
|Britt Brown, 25.02.2014|
My uncle was the test pilot for Douglas and flew every single one that was produced.
|George Daigneault, 17.02.2014|
My first assignment was at Toul Rosiers , France.I was a jet engine mechanic on this bird.I was their from 64 to 66 until the French kicked us out. I left their for assignment to Tan Son Nhut A.F.B. in Viet Nam. We were in the process of converting over to RF4C. I was their when we lost one of our aircraft over East Germany. I was also their when we held an air show for the locals.It was hard work keeping them flying. They would use up the whole runway for take off. As an engine man I think they were way under powered.
|Farley Wayne Stallard, 28.01.2014|
Worked on the radar rb-66 1957-1960 10th A&E in Spangdahlem and then in Alconbury England. First thing in Germany was, "we are getting a new bird and want you to build a radar mock-up". Ok what's a mock up? Hell I don't know. Here is a book and have it built before we get the bird. Thanks, 1st Lt. I learned real fast what a radar mock up was. I never wanted to wire up another mock up but that bird had 2 radar systems. I got the hardware and plugged everything in and now for the smoke test. 1st Lt. would you like the honors? Hell no, airman you turn it on. Turned it on and no smoke but the florescent light bulbs were acting kinda funny when the antenna came around. Hell I was transmitting inside the shop. Next thing the Lt. wanted was an operation manual. He said he wanted it so the operators (officers) could use it to operate the system and if he had to ask a question I would have to rewrite it and start all over. After 27 rewrites he could got through it without asking any questions. I guess I wrote the first book of "How to operate the radar systems in the rb-66 for dummies". Never had to work on the flight line. The shop was always warm in the winter and cool in the summers.
|Ray Ismail, 29.11.2013|
I was stationed at Spangdahlem in the 1st TRS from 54 to 58 and was an instrument specialist on the Rb26,T33,Rb57A/B,and RB 66. Loved working on the 66 the most.
|H. Mike "Willie" Williams, 11.11.2013|
I was a Crew Chief on EB-66-E tail # 54-546 from 69 to Oct of 72 at Shaw AFB in South Carolina. Was sent TDY to Korat RTAFB twice for a few months each in 71 and 72. I was on flying status all of those years and have great memories of cross country weekend flights back to Calif. to visit my girl friend. The times I spent at Korat RTAFB were special memories. We took aircraft over to Korat and brought back those needing special maint. I remember once having landed at Hickam Field being hand cuffed to the lt. main gear in Hawaii when the dogs found hash under the flooring of the crawl way. That unit always had a bad smell. The dogs went crazy when they got to it. The entire space was packed with it, it looked like it had been there for years(so rotten).The air police didn't know what to do with us, we were questioned for hours. When I offered a solution to their problem -that who ever put it in there must have intended to transfer back to Shaw to retrieve it, and apparently did not. They asked if I was going to Shaw... I said "we're all going to Shaw", I became the focus of the "investigation" if you can call it that. They finally confiscated the dope and let us go.
I remember those years and the great people I worked with like they were yesterday. If Sgt's. D'Anella,Gary Moser, Beecher,Bowen ,Gabbota ,or Somers should read this, we at email@example.com I hope you and your families are all well, you have to be really old farts by now.
|Richard Bogan, 09.11.2013|
I was a jet engine mechanic at RAF Alconbury 1962 1964. Worked my tail off keeping them flying. Good memories
|FREDERICK STEVENS, 16.08.2013|
I WAS A DRAFTSMAN IN THE STRUCTURE DESIGN GROUP, AT DOUGLAS, FROM 1952 TILL 1959. WAS LAID OFF AND RETURNED TO LONG BEACH IN 1965. STAYED THERE UNTILL I RETIRED IN 1994.
WORKED ON ALL OF THE "66"SERIES A/C. WAS INCHARGE OF REPAIRS OF THE ONE AT "EDDIE" WHEN THAT SHOT IN THE MOVIE "TOWARDS THE UNKNOWN" WAS MADE. IT WAS A "PULLBACK" SHOT LOOKING THRU THE ENGINE NOSE CONE.
AS THEY WERE PULLING BACK THEY BUMPED INTO A DRIP CAN WE HAD HANGING ON THE HYDRAULIC HOSE THAT WAS DISCONNECTED.
SPILLED RED "SKYDRAUL" ALOVER A WHITE JACKET THE CAMERAMAN WAS WEARING. MAN WAS HE MAD.
HAD A GREAT TIME WORKING FOR DOUGLAS ON THE RB66A.RB66B,B66B.C133A, C133B,DC8,ALL OF THE DIFERENT DC9's AND THE C17. I ALSO DID A COUPLE OF JOBS ON THE C124 AND C74.
I MANAGED TO GET A RIDE IN A B66 WITH "PEANUTS" WHILE HE WAS ONE TO THE TEST PILOTS. GOT MY "MACH BOUSTER" ON THAT ONE.
BY THE WAY. THE ONE YOUR DAD WORKED ON THAT WAS SO "HUSH HUSH" COULD HAVE BEEN THE ONE THAT THEY INSTALLED "LEAD CURTONS IN THE COCKPIT" TO PROTEST THE CREW FROM RADIATION WHEN THE FLEW THROUGH A ATOMIC BOMB CLOWED OUT IN THE "MARSHALL ISLAND ATOMIC TESTS".
IT WAS A GREAT 36 YEARS.
I THINK I KNEW MARK BORGATTA'S DAD.
|Hans van Meerloo, 01.07.2013|
On the 6.6.66 one of the Chambleys' B-66 made a visit to Leeuwarden AB in the Netherlands. Then a F-104G fighterfield. Was it just a coincidence or was it some kind of farewell visit?
We had here,as far as I can remember, once in 1964 an emergency landing (birdhit)of another B-66.
Is there anybody who can provide some more info?
Thank you anyway.
|cole fleming, 14.06.2013|
Tony. As a crew chief at Shaw Air Force Base I had several opportunities a flight with your father a a crew chief I got fly with your father on several test flights what a great pilot the man could fly b66 blindfolded great man. Yes he was Mr b66.
What a great man a very glad to have met him and fly with him
|richard thompson, 13.05.2013|
stationed at shaw in the mid 60s. our group, 4411fms, had the honor of towing a b-66 from shaw to sumter county tech school. towed it in one day right down the main highway. took all day. went back next day and mounted on concrete. still have picture of going through the town with a b-66. made quite a show.
Was in Spangdahlem working on B-66's when I witnessed Raz and Stevens in the shower together. Always kept that secret till now.
|Richard Clark, 20.02.2013|
I was Airman 1st class assigned to work on k5 Radar system from june 56 to June58 got to go on flights when it requird a K5 tech to isolate in flight Problems.Also met aircraft after return fligts along with crew chief who would meet with Pilot and I with navagater verify with any problems if any. This did end up being a problem as my hearing was effected. As the planes taxed in they would be scraeming and I would have to remove my ear plugs so I could hear the Navigator.I look back at the diferent operations ,operating out of Doolitles old runway,then to Spangdolem germany,and last to Yakota Japan as great memories. The best was the peaple that I will always remember such as my Boss Master Sargent Koons.
|mike luberto, 05.02.2013|
Stationed at Shaw AFB 1971 B-66 crew chief, flew in one to Karot AFB.Many overnight stops including Biele AFB, Hawaii, Guam,Philippines. One year tour in Thailand supporting the Vietnam campaign. Witness Downed B66 and colonel Hamiltons commanders call testamony that led to the movie Bat*21 with Gene Hackman and Danny Glover. Finished 1976 as a flight engineer.Really had a great time with some lost of hearing.Would like to hear from some old buddy's stationed at Korat during that time.
|Gerald Brown, 01.02.2013|
Correcting my e-mail address
|Gerald Brown, 01.02.2013|
Known as Charlie Brown, I was an aircraft electrician on all the B-66's, Rf-101's and the RF-4C's while at Shaw AFB SC 1957 to late 1959 and then again late 1960 to Dec 1965,then transfered to Eielson AFB, Alaska. I loved those screaming 66's and the Rf-101's Spent many hours at the engine test cell and on the pads helping trim those J-57 engines in. Went on many TDY's with them to. Takhli is one of the TDY's I never will forget In 1965. From B-66 I went to the B-52G outfit in Loring Maine and then PCS to Utapao Thailand and then worked on the Oldie B-52's. Retrained into Satelite Tracking. Went to Vandenburg Tracking station for my last 5 years. Living in Manning SC. I still love the B-66. Charlie Brown.
|cole fleming, 18.12.2012|
I was stationed at shaw AFB from 1966-1970. I was crew chief on 54-419 good aircraft. Was with 19 TRS and 4417 at shaw. went to Osan/south korea in 1968 when uss pebleo was capsured.itgot to cold to operate there so we went south to itazuki japan. I crew chief 54-510 there we went to kadena AFB okinawa .we had 6 eb66e"s there.went back to shaw summer of1969. worked night shift as line chief till june 1970 the B66 was agood plane hated those screaming engines.
|Randy Ventress, 13.12.2012|
I "cut my teeth" on the RB-66's at Shaw A.F.B. from October 1968 until mid-1970. I then went to Takhli and spent as short amount of time before we moved the Squadron to Korat. We lost a plan at Takhli on approach and one on takeoff at Korat. Most of my memories are hazy from back then, but I know I enjoyed wrenching the airplane. Would like to hear from any body at these bases when I was there.
|Richard Lloyd, 01.12.2012|
I worked on the B-66's at Shaw AFB, 363rd CAM squadron from 61 to 65. I was a jet engine mechanic and enjoyed the J71 engines. They were the fun times with all the good guys I worked with.
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