BOEING C-135 STRATOLIFTER / KC-135 STRATOTANKER

C / KC-135 SERVICE

Manufacturer: The Boeing Airplane Co., Seattle, Washington, USA
(In 1961, became The Boeing Co.)
Models: Boeing Model 367-80, 717, 739
Designations: C-135, KC-135
Names: Stratolifter (C-135), Stratotanker (KC-135)
First official flight: (Model 367-80) 15/07/1954
(KC-135A) 31/08/1956
Factory production period: 1955 - 1965
Primary service period: 1957 - present
Last official flight: Still in service

C / KC-135 VARIANTS

1956 Model 717-100A KC-135A 29    
1957 Model 717-146 KC-135A 68    
1958 Model 717-148 KC-135A 635 732 Total: 732
           
1961 Model 717-157 C-135A   15  
1962 Model 717-158 C-135B   30  
1963 Model 717-164 C-135F   12  
1964 Model 717-166 KC-135B   17 Total: 074
           
1965 Model 739-700 RC-135A   4  
1964 Model 739-445B RC-135B   10 Total: 014

Grand Total: 820

C / KC-135 PRODUCTION

KC-135A
4-engined, tanker / cargo transport, side loading door,
refuelling boom. First 582 airframes with short tail,
all later modified to tall tail.
Produced 1955 - 1964

Boeing Renton, Washington (BN)

55-3118 / 55-3146 17234 / 17262  
56-3591 / 56-3658 17340 / 17407  
57-1418 / 57-1514 17489 / 17585  
57-2589 / 57-2609 17725 / 17745  
58-0001 / 58-0130 17746 / 17875  
59-1443 / 59-1523 
- 2 to FAA as civil N96 and N98.
17931 / 18011  
60-0313 / 60-0368 18088 / 18143  
61-0261 / 61-0325 18168 / 18232  
62-3497 / 62-3580 18480 / 18563  
63-7976 / 63-8045 18593 / 18662  
63-8871 / 63-8888 18719 / 18736  
64-14828 / 64-14840 18768 / 18780

Total: 732

57 additional airframes cancelled.


KC-135A-BN, s/n: 57-2603, is a KC-135R conversion with CFM56 engines.
Christchurch, New Zealand, 2001.

C-135A
As KC-135A, cargo / passenger transport only,
no refuelling boom. 3 KC-135A's (60-0356, 60-0357,
60-0362) factory converted as C-135A "Falsies" with
short tail and refuelling equipment. 
Produced 1961

Boeing Renton, Washington (BN)

60-0369 / 60-0378 18144 / 18153  
61-0326 / 61-0330 18233 / 18237

Total: 015

C-135B
As C-135A, turbofan engines, wider stabilizers.
Produced 1961 - 1962

Boeing Renton, Washington (BN)

61-0331, 61-0332 18238, 18239  
61-2662, 61-2663 18292, 18333  
61-2664 / 61-2674 18340 / 18350  
62-4125 / 62-4139 18465 / 18479

Total: 030

C-135F
As KC-135A, "F" for France tanker aircraft.
Produced 1963 - 1964

Boeing Renton, Washington (BN)

63-8470 / 63-8475
(France) 93-CA / 93-CF
18679 / 18684  
63-12735 / 63-12740
(France) 93-CG / 93-CL
18695 / 18700

Total: 012

KC-135B
As KC-135A, turbofan engine upgrade, provision
for use as airborne command posts.
Produced 1963 - 1965

Boeing Renton, Washington (BN)

62-3581 / 62-3585 18564 / 18568  
63-8046 / 63-8052 18663 / 18669  
63-8053 / 63-8057 18701 / 18705

Total: 017

RC-135A
As KC-135A, photo reconn. version, no refuelling boom.
Produced 1965

Boeing Renton, Washington (BN)

63-8058 / 63-8061 18670 / 18673

Total: 004

5 additional airframes cancelled.

RC-135B
As C-135B, ELINT version, no refuelling boom.
Produced 1964 - 1965

Boeing Renton, Washington (BN)

63-9792 18706  
64-14841 / 64-14849 18781 / 18789

Total: 010

 

Grand Total: 820

C / KC-135 CONVERSIONS

USAF

KC-135A Relay 7 KC-135A, 1966-1973, "Combat Lighting" mission radio relay
conversions for use in SEA theatre of operations.
GKC-135A 1+ KC-135A, conversions for ground instructional duties.
JKC-135A 5+ KC-135A, temporary conversions for test work.
NKC-135A 21 KC-135A, permanent conversions for electronic warfare tests.
2 to US Navy, no BuNo. assigned.
1 to NASA as N930NA (civil reg.).
(NKC-135E) 21 NKC-135A, redesignation after engine upgrade.
NC-135A 3 C-135A, 1964, permanent conversions to monitor nuclear weapons tests.
(GNC-135A) 1 NC-135A, conversions for ground instructional duties.
VC-135A 5 4 KC-135A / 1 C-135A, VIP transports, originally VKC-135A as tankers.
C-135B T/RIA 4 C-135B, Telemetry-Range Instrumented Aircraft, nose extension.
VC-135B 5 C-135B, VIP transports.
WC-135B 11 C-135B, 1965, weather reconnaissance conversions.
(OC-135B) 3 WC-135B, 1993, "Open Skies" Treaty mission conversions to observe
foreign military strength.
(TC-135B) 1 WC-135B, 1993, trainer for OC-135B.
(C-135C) 3 WC-135A, conversions as transports, engine upgrade.
WC-135C 1 EC-135C, 1999, temporary conversion as stand-in for the WC-135W.
KC-135D 4 RC-135A, 1972, tanker conversions.
C-135E 3 C-135A, engine upgrades for combat support.
KC-135E 161 KC-135A, 1982, engine / avionics upgrade.
C-135N 4 EC-135N, general support duties, nose radome retained.
KC-135Q 56 KC-135A, 1966, tanker upgrade (JP-7 fuel) for the SR-71 Blackbird.
(KC-135T) 56 KC-135Q, 1995, engine / avionics upgrade similar to KC-135R.
KC-135R 5 KC-135A, conversions with fuselage long fence antennae.
Later redesignated as RC-135R.
KC-135R 432 KC-135A, 1984, CFM56 engine upgrade, various improvements.
7 to France, 4 to Singapore, 9 to Turkey.
Original designation was KC-135ER.
TC-135S 1 EC-135B, 1984, trainer for RC-135S crews.
TC-135W 3 C-135B, 1987, trainers for RC-135W crews.
WC-135W 2 C-135B, "Constant Phoenix" mission collecting atmospheric samples
from nuclear weapons detonations.
(NC-135W) 1 WC-135W, 2001, permanent conversion for test duties.

USAF - Reconnaissance Conversions

RC-135C 10 RC-135B, 1963, upgraded equipment for use by SAC.
(RC-135U) 3 RC-135C, 1971, "Combat Sent / Combat Pink" mission, ELINT duties.
(RC-135V) 8 7 RC-135C / 1 RC-135U, 1973, "Rivet Joint" ELINT mission duties.
HBR engine upgrade in 1999.
RC-135D 4 1 KC-135A / 3 C-135A, 1962, "Rivet Brass" mission, SLAR antennas.
RC-135E 1 C-135B, "Rivet Amber" mission, various avionic and airframe upgrades.
RC-135M 6 C-135B, 1967, "Rivet Card / Rivet Quick" missions, electronic reconn.
conversions.
(RC-135W) 11 RC-135M / +2 others, 1980, redesignation after subtle modifications for
"Rivet Joint" ELINT missions, HBR engine upgrade in 1999.
3 KC-135R to RAF in 2013 with new s/n: ZZ664 / ZZ666.
RC-135S 4 1 KC-135A / 3 C-135B, "Rivet Ball / Cobra Ball" mission conversions
for tracking foreign or hostile missile launches.
RC-135T 1 KC-135R, 1971-1985, conversion for command support and training.
RC-135X 1 EC-135B, "Cobra Eye" mission conversion for missile re-entry surveillance.

USAF - Electronics Conversions

EC-135A 11 KC-135A, 1965, flying command posts, radio-relay conversions.
EC-135B 2 C-135B T/RIA, 1978, conversions with radome nose and large antennae.
EC-135C

14

KC-135B, 1965, redesignation as SAC flying command posts.
EC-135G 4 KC-135A, 1965, radio-relay and airborne launch control centers. 
EC-135H 5 KC-135A, 1968, airborne command posts.
EC-135J 3 KC-135B, 1965, airborne command posts for Pacific theatre.
EC-135K 3 KC-135A, airborne command posts for fighter support.
EC-135L 8 KC-135A, 1965, Post-Attack Command / Control aircraft.
EC-135N 8 C-135A, 1967, Apollo Range Instrumentation Aircraft (ARIA),
used during Apollo moon landings, conversions by
Douglas Aircraft Co., California.
(EC-135E) 2 EC-135N, 1981, engine upgrade, used in general test duties.
EC-135P 5 KC-135A, conversions as aerial command posts.
EC-135Y 1 NKC-135A, 1984, single command post modification.

Foreign Conversions

C-135FR

11

C-135F, 1984, CFM56 engine upgrade for French aircraft.

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