Douglas B-66 Destroyer
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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.

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

 ENGINE2 x Allison J71-A-11 or J71-A-13 turbojets, 4627kg each
    Take-off weight37648 kg83000 lb
    Empty weight19720 kg43475 lb
    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
    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
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.

Bart, 04.03.2013

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.

Lauren Eastwood, 01.12.2012

I worked on the RB-66's at Korat in 1971. Was assigned to the 388th TFW Hydraulic shop on a TDY from 3rd TFW at Kunson, Korea for 179 day's.

Lauren Eastwood, 01.12.2012

I worked on the RB-66's at Korat in 1971. Was assigned to the 388th TFW Hydraulic shop on a TDY from 3rd TFW at Kunson, Korea for 179 day's.

Mark Borgatta, 25.08.2012

My dad worked for Douglas Aircraft for 37 years. I was 7 years old when my dad brought home a beatiful picture of the RB66. He worked on the RB66 at Edwards AFB when they were preparing it for classified tests in the pacific. Not much I know about it because it was all classified information and my dad couldn't talk about it. My dad and I both loved that airplane. While my dad was at Edwards AFB they were filming one of the scene's in the
movie "Towards The Unknown" in the same hanger that the RB66 was in. There's a great shot of the RB66 in that movie and the actor Lloyd Noland talks about the plane in that scene. While there they were doing test flights with the Bell X-1 and X-2 and all of the test pilots were always coming over to check ou the RB66. They all said it was a great bird. From what I know the RB66 didn't get a whole lot of service but it got some good time in Viet Nam in the 60's. It's still one of my favorite airplanes. My dad retired from McDonnell Douglas after 37 years of service and passed away in 1992 still raving about the RB66. Building a scale flying model of one is on my bucket list.

Doug de Ronde, 24.08.2012

I was asst c/c with Johnny Connors on EB-66E 54-536 at Spangdahlem AB (69-72).I worked mids and did the pre-flight ck the day she went in at the end of the run way ON 9 SEPT 1969. Lt. Col. Esppe was the only survivor. Charlie Lynn sent her out that morning and came to the NCO club to let me know what happened.

Roy Herman, 03.07.2012

Reference Will Koenitzer 6/12/2010 regarding the refueling hose not detached to the B-66. I was a radar navigation repairman at Takhli and helped repair the aircraft. When it landed the hose was still attached and had slapped the nose of the aircraft so bad that the nose of the aircraft had to be replaced. The aircraft's nose contained heavy radar equipment and the equipment had busted loose and was hanging by its electrical wiring. When the nose was replaced I had to level the gyro that kept the radar antenna level during flight. As I remember I had to place many washers under the Gyro to get it level which meant the nose was quite out of aline. I always wondered how the aircraft flew with that crooked nose but never was able to talk to anyone piloting that particular aircraft.

Perry Walek, 26.06.2012

We lived at Shaw AFB from 1958 to 1965 my father was Capt Michael Walek he was a weather officer on a WB66. he retired as a Major and moved to California.

Tony Wilson, 16.06.2012

My dad, Richard "Dick" Wilson flew the 66 and I think amassed more time in it than any other pilot, including the A3. He loved that plane. We have photos of him receiving "attaboys" from Douglas every time he got another 500 or 1000 hours. One of the photos was titled "Mr. B-66". I owe a special thanks to Douglas for getting him home from numerous SNAFU's and not so friendly situations in several parts of the world. Shaw has a beautiful RB-66 on display at the front gate that I go by and visit often.

Ronald Holland, 10.06.2012

I was at shaw,AFB,SC were I worked on this acft as an assistant Crew chief from 63 to 65 .We had the RB's.Those engines were something else.we were winding down and getting ready to receive RF4c's to replace the RB'S .I hated to see her go,she was a great plane.

Jack McCoy, 05.06.2012

I was a navigator-bombardier on the WB-66D at Shaw AFB, SC from May 1957 to May 1959. I was in the 9th TRS during the period and I was in the Weather Flight. Our Squadron also had the ECM B-66C models. Our flight was heavy into inflight refueling and flew non-stop from San Bernadino, CA to the Philippines. We participated in the Lebanon Crisis of 1958 at Incirlik AB, Turkey and flew each morning over Beruit, Lebanon at 3,000 feet as a show of force during the crisis. We flew non-stop from Shaw to Lyon, France by hitting two tankers enroute. We were gone 6 weeks and I missed my wedding to a lovely Sumter girl in 8/57. We also spent a lot of time at Kindley AFB, Burmuda scouting out inflight refueling areas for hiflights of F-100s going from Myrtle Beach AFB, SC to Europe. What a great bird and what great adventures!

Pete Cuipenski, 28.05.2012

My first dealings with the 66's was at Toul Rosiere AB,France.May 1964-Feb 1966.While at Toul,we were transfered to Chambley AB,short distance away.Feb.66 Chas.DeGaulle gave all the U.S. miltary a eviction notice,and we parted with the armpit of the world.Most of us ended up being reasigned to Takhli AB,Thailand.Somehow i ended up in the U.S.Coast Guard aviation program and retired after 28 years.

Andrew Bradford, 09.05.2012

I was stationed at Edwards AFB field 9 when we received the first B-66s. I worked on the K-5 Radar Bomb-Nav system. Then we were transfered to Alconbury RAF station then transfered to Sculthorpe RAF we were on the leading edge all was based on analog technology way before digital. What an experiance and a great aircraft.

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