Boeing WB-47E Stratojet

Last revised January 3, 2003



WB-47E was the designation assigned to converted B-47Es used for weather reconnaissance. They had nose-mounted cameras that recorded cloud formations, and they carried air-sampling and data recording equipment inside a sensor pod in the bomb bay in place of nuclear weapons. The defensive fire control system and the tail guns were removed.

The weather service received the first of 34 WB-47Es on March 20, 1963. They were modified by Lockheed-Marietta. They were operated by the 53rd and 55th Weather Reconnaissance Squadrons. The WB-47Es began to be replaced by WC-130 and WC-135 aircraft in 1965, but total phaseout took another 3 years. The last WB-47E--actually the last operational B-47 in the Air Force inventory--was delivered to Davis-Monthan AFB on October 31, 1969.

Sources:


  1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

  2. Post World War II Bombers, Marcelle Size Knaack, Office of Air Force History, 1988.

  3. The Boeing B-47, Peter Bowers, Aircraft in Profile, Doubleday, 1968.

  4. Boeing Aircraft Since 1916, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1989.

  5. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  6. Boeing B-47 Stratojet--Variant Briefing. Bill Yenne, International Air Power Review, Vol 6, 2002.