Seen here at the US Air Force Museum,Dayton, OH.
Nosey: Boeing EC-135E ARIA
During the early 1960s, NASA and the Department of Defense needed a mobile tracking and telemetry platform to support the Apollo space program and other unmanned space flight operations. In a joint project, NASA and the DoD contracted with the McDonnell Douglas and the Bendix Corporations to modify eight Boeing C-135 Stratolifter cargo aircraft into Apollo/Range Instrumentation Aircraft (A/RIA). Equipped with a steerable seven-foot antenna dish in its distinctive "Droop Snoot" or "Snoopy Nose," the EC-135N A/RIA became operational in January 1968. The Air Force Eastern Test Range (AFETR) at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., maintained and operated the A/RIA until the end of the Apollo program in 1972 when the USAF renamed it the Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft (ARIA).
Hump: Boeing NKC-135A Airborne Laser Lab
While the KC-135A was usually used for in-flight refueling, the Airborne Laser Lab was a modified version used for flight testing. Similar to the commercial Boeing 707, the slightly smaller KC-135 was designed to military specifications and operated at high gross weights. The KC-135A's initial flight occurred on Aug. 31, 1956, and the USAF accepted its first one on Jan. 31, 1957. By 1966, 732 KC-135As had been built, and the aircraft had become the USAF's standard tanker. It was also used for transporting cargo or personnel and by 1970 was serving in other roles, including reconnaissance, electronic intelligence and project testing.
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