RB-69A Photo Tour

NeptuneSmall

P2V at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, GA.

WARBIRD RADIO – Here’s a rare chance to see one of the seldom-talked-about spy planes of the United States Air Force.  According to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, the U.S. Navy loaned the USAF seven P2V-7U Neptune maritime patrol bombers.  The Neptunes were then re-designated RB-69A’s and used for super-secret reconnaissance.

The electronic equipment of the P2V-7U was modified for USAF missions and Electronic Counter Measures training.  On the outside, the most obvious change was the additional radome on the MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detection) tail boom.  Just look for the last “bump” on the lower aft section of the plane.

After the USAF completed its mission with the RB-69A’s, they were returned to the U.S. Navy.  The Navy then returned them to maritime patrol standards and redesignated them SP-2H’s.  In honor of the RB-69A’s crew members and historic “hush hush” missions, the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins has displayed its P2V as an RB-69A.  To see a  small image gallery and technical notes, just click “Continue Reading”.  If you’d like to view all 79 pictures become a subscriber by clicking on the “Info” button on the top menu bar.

RB-69 Image Gallery

TECHNICAL NOTES (performance data are approximations):
Armament: Bomb bay with 8,000 lbs. capacity and eight outboard wing hardpoints capable of mounting two 5-in. rockets each (whether or not the RB-69A ever actually flew armed is under investigation); dorsal turret with two .50-cal. machine guns or two 20mm cannons on the P2V-7 was replaced by an observation dome
Engines: Two Wright R-3350-32W Turbo Compound Cyclones of 3,400 hp each and two Westinghouse J34-WE-34 axial-flow turbojets of 3,400 lbs. each
Maximum speed: 360 mph
Cruising speed: 300 mph
Range: 4,000 miles (with bomb bay mounted fuel tank)
Service ceiling: 35,000 ft.
Span: 103 ft. 10 in. (with wingtip pods; approx. 103. ft. without pods)
Length: 91 ft. 8 in.
Height: 29 ft. 4 in.
Weight: Approx. 80,000 lbs. maximum takeoff weight
Crew: Five (typically) (pilot, copilot, navigator, two electronics/reconnaissance equipment operators)
Serial numbers: Seven U.S. Navy P2V-7U Neptune maritime patrol aircraft (BuNo 135612, 140438, 140440, 140442, 141233, 141244, ?) reserialed as USAF RB-69A 54-4037 to 54-4043

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