Douglas WB-66D Destroyer

Last revised January 8, 2002



The WB-66D was the final production version of the Destroyer. It was a dedicated 5-seat weather reconnaissance aircraft, carrying a crew of five. 36 examples were built in the Tulsa, Oklahoma plant.

The WB-66D was essentially identical to the RB-66C--it retained the flight-refuelling probe and the tail gun of the earlier versions along with the forward cockpit carrying the pilot, navigator and gunner. However, it had no provision for bombs or cameras. The electronic reconnaissance compartment carried in the bomb bay of the RB-66C was replaced by a specialized pressurized weather equipment compartment. The compartment housed a pair of equipment operators who operated a battery of specialized equipment for weather analysis and reconnaissance. All WB-66Ds were equipped from the start with Allison J71-A-13 engines.

36 WB-66Ds were ordered under Letter Contract AF 33(600)-28368, which was amended accordingly on December 12, 1956. The first flight of the WB-66D took place on June 26, 1957. The last example was delivered in January of 1958.

The first WB-66Ds were delivered to the 9th TRS based at Shaw AFB, beginning in June of 1957. They replaced WB-26s and T-33s which had been previously carrying out the weather reconnaissance mission. WB-66Ds were also assigned to the 67th TRW (PACAF) and to the 66 TRW (USAFE) for overseas deployments.

The WB-66D began to be phased out in 1960, when the USAFE and the PACAF retired all of their weather reconnaissance. However, the stateside TAC retained their WB-66Ds for a few more years. The last one was phased out in July of 1965.

Serials of WB-66D:

55-0390/0425		Douglas WB-66D-DT Destroyer
				c/n 45022/45057
				0408 and 0410 converted to Northrop X-21A-NO
					research aircraft.

Sources:


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

  2. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Volume 1. Rene Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988

  3. E-mail from Joe Montana on no modifications of WB-66D to EB-66C.