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C-135 Variants - Part 5

by Jennings Heilig


1. EC-135J "Nightwatch III", 63-8057,1000th ACCS,
1001st Air Base Wing, Andrews AFB, Maryland, 1968


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Here are four more colour profiles of C-135 variants prepared in Illustrator:

1. EC-135J "Nightwatch III", 63-8057,1000th ACCS, 1001st Air Base Wing, Andrews AFB, Maryland, 1968 (see artwork above)

Three KC-135B command posts were converted to the EC-135J "Nightwatch" configuration in the mid-1960s. These aircraft were stationed at Andrews AFB, Maryland in order to be able to sweep the President and his staff away in the event of the balloon going up. Later the mission equipment was removed and installed in the new E-4s (747-200s), and the EC-135Js were sent to PACAF as normal flying command posts. All three have since been retired.


2. EC-135H "Dark Angel", 61-0286, 10th ACCS, 513th Airborne Command & Control Wing, RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, 1985



"Dark Angel" was one of the three EC-135H command posts assigned to support CinCUSEUR. Assigned to RAF Mildenhall, the aircraft also regularly stood alert in the Azores. With the end of the Cold War, the EC-135Hs were retired. She is shown as she appeared toward the end of her lifetime, retrofitted with TF33 engines.


3. KC-135R, 60-0325, Turkish AF, 2001



I still can't get over seeing KC-135s wearing insignias other than the star & bar, but here's proof that it happened! The Turkish Air Force flies several KC-135R tankers. This is the only one I've seen with the dual language titles (done in two different typefaces).


4. RC-135S, Cobra Ball I, 61-2664, 24th SRS, 6th Strategic Wing, Eielson AFB, Alaska, 1981



Cobra Ball I was yet another victim of the horrible weather at the far end of the Aleutian chain, having crashed at Shemya AFS in March of 1981 with the loss of several lives. She is shown as she appeared at the time of her loss.

Text and Images Copyright 2002 by Jennings Heilig
Page Created 19 December, 2002
Last updated 18 December, 2002

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