Boeing 707 - Military and Government Operated Variants


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The Boeing 707 has been adapted to many military functions. The United States Air Force and Navy operate 707s under the designations C-137, C-18, E-3 Sentry, E-6 Mercury, and E-8 J-STARS. The E-3 Sentry is also operated by NATO and the Royal Air Force. Several other nations operate 707s as VIP transports and tankers.

C-137

Five 707s were acquired by the Air Force to serve as presidential transports. They were operated by the 89th Military Airlift Wing, based at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.

Link to Federation of American Scientists page about the VC-137B/C Presidential Transports.

VC-137B

Three VC-137As, Boeing model 707-153 with Pratt and Whitney JT-3 turbojets, were acquired by the Air Force to serve as presidential transports. They were redesignated VC-137B when they were refitted with JT3D turbofan jet engines.

Boeing VC-137B 58-6972, Rhein-Mein Air Force Base, June 21, 1989 VC-137B 58-6972 at Rhein-Mein Air Force Base on June 21, 1989. It carries Boeing construction number 17927. It was delivered to the Air Force on June 30, 1959. It was scrapped in 1996 due to severe corrosion.

VC-137B 58-6971, Pima Air Museum, Setpember 26, 2005 VC-137B 58-6971 at the Pima Air Museum on Setpember 26, 2005. It Boeing construction number 17926. It was delivered to the Air Force on May 31, 1959. It was redesignated VC-137B when it was refitted with JT3D turbofan jet engines in April 1963. It has been displayed at the Pima Air Museum since October 1999.

VC-137B 58-6971, Pima Air Museum, Setpember 26, 2005 VC-137B 58-6971 at the Pima Air Museum on Setpember 26, 2005.

VC-137C

Boeing VC-137C Stratoliner 72-7000, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, May 10, 1974 VC-137C 72-7000 on approach to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on May 10, 1974 for a visit by Richard Nixon. It was one of two 707-353Bs used by the Air Force to transport the president. It carries Boeing construction number 20630and was delivered to the Air Force on August 9, 1972.

Boeing VC-137C Stratoliner 62-6000, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, May 11, 1974 VC-137C 62-6000 at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on May 11, 1974. An American Airlines 707-323 rotates for take-off in the background.

VC-137C, 62-6000 carries Boeing construction number 18461. It made its first flight on August 10, 1962 and was delivered to the Air Force on October 9, 1962. It is now on display at the National Museum of the Air Force Presidential Aircraft Hangar.

Link to Museum of the Air Force fact sheet about VC-137C 62-6000

Boeing VC-137C Stratoliner 72-7000, Los Angeles International Airport, January 20, 1989 VC-137C 72-7000 on approach to Los Angeles International Airport on January 20, 1989 for a visit by Ronald Reagan. It is now on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Photography Prints You can buy framed prints or greeting cards of this photograph.

EC-137D

The first two prototypes for the 707-based Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) were modified 707-353Cs designated EC-137D. They differed from the E-3 Sentry in having the full complement of passenger windows and bare metal fuselages.

The second EC-137D, 71-1408 at Boeing Field in Seattle on June 18, 1973.

EC-137D, 71-1408 carries Boeing construction number 20519. It was held by Boeing for tests before it was converted to E-3A standard. It was delivered to the Air Force as an E-3A on December 15, 1978. It was later converted to E-3B standard.

C-18

In 1982, eight former American airlines 707-323s were acquired by the Air Force to serve as crew trainers, designated C-18A. They were operated by the 4950th Test Wing, based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Link to Federation of American Scientists page about the EC-18 ARIA.

EC-18B

Four C-18As were modified as EC-18B Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft (ARIA) with a seven-foot diameter radar dish on the nose to replace the aging fleet of Boeing EC-135N ARIA Stratotankers.

EC-18B, 81-0894 at Vandenberg Air Force Base on June 9, 1990. It carries Boeing construction number 19583 and was delivered to American Airlines as 707-323C, N8403 on November 28, 1967. The Air Force acquired it on July 15, 1982.

EC-18B, 81-0894 at Vandenberg Air Force Base on June 9, 1990.

EC-18B, 81-0891 at Edwards Air Force Base on October 3, 1998. It carries Boeing construction number 17636 and was delivered to American Airlines as 707-323C, N7598A on August 31, 1967. The Air Force acquired it on February 12, 1982.

EC-18B, 81-0891 at Edwards Air Force Base on October 3, 1998.

EC-18B, 81-0892 on approach to Air Force Plant 42 at Palmdale on September 24, 1999. It carries Boeing construction number 17636 and was delivered to American Airlines as 707-323C, N7567A on October 2, 1967. The Air Force acquired it on February 2, 1982.

EC-18B, 81-0892 on approach to Air Force Plant 42 at Palmdale on September 24, 1999.

EC-18B, 81-0892 on approach to Air Force Plant 42 at Palmdale on September 24, 1999.

TC-18E

Former 707 airliners were used by the Air Force for E-3 Sentry crew proficiency training under the designaiton TC-18E.

TC-18E, 84-1398 at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma in 1992. It is a former TWA 707-331C. It was delivered to TWA as N788TW onJune 12, 1964. It was placed in storage at Kansas City in January 1981. Boeing acquired it in June 1984 and registered it as N131EA in January 1985. Photo courtesy Rick Markel.

TC-18E, 84-1398 at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma in 1992. It was eventually parked at Oklahoma City and broken up for parts. Photo courtesy Rick Markel.

TC-18F

Two former TAP 707-382Bs were used by Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 7, based at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma to maintain pilot proficiency of E-6A Mercury pilots.

Link to Federation of American Scientists page about Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 7.

U. S. Navy TC-18F, BuNo 165342 in storage at AMARC on February 27, 2002. It carries Boeing construction number 18961 and was delivered to TAP as 707-382B Santa Cruz, CS-TBA on December 16, 1965. Air Atlantis leased it in May 1985. Atlantic Leasing and Financial bought it in February 1987, registered it as N45RT and immediately leased it to Reflectone Training Systems. It was stored for a while at Waco, Texas before Buffalo Holdings Incorporated bought it on November 26, 1991. The U. S. Navy leased it on October 28, 1994. It was delivered to AMARC as 3C0001 on March 16, 2001.

TC-18F replacements

After the retirement of the TC-18Fs, the Navy leased two US Air 737-201s to maintain pilot proficiency, N223US and N227AU.

Boeing 737-201, N227AU at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma in January 2005. It was used for E-6 pilot proficiency maintenance from October 2001 to January 2005. It carries Boeing construction number 21816 and first flew on July 15, 1979. It was delivered to Piedmont Airlines on August 7, 1979. It joined US Air when Piedmont merged on August 5, 1989. Canada based Royal Airlines leased it on Spetember 27, 2000 and re-registered it as C-FRYH on October 6, 2000. Canada 300 Arilines leased it on April 5, 2001. On October 19, 2001 it was leased to AAR Distribution, which subleased it to L-3 Communications Corporation. L-3 Communications registered it as N227AU and operated it for the U.S. Navy. Mexico based Magnicharters leased it on March 16, 2005 and re-registered it as XA-MAK. Photo courtesy Rick Markel.

The 737-200s have been relaced by a 737-600 with a glass cockpit, similar to the current E-6 cockpit.

Boeing 737-6Z9, N743NV at Tinker air Force Base, Oklahoma in February 2005. It is leased from Lauda Air. The Lauda Air titles have been covered with gray decal material. It carries Boeing construction number 30137 and first flew on April 8, 2000. It was delivered to Lauda Air as OE-LNL on May 4, 2000. It was withdrawn from use by Lauda Air on December 2, 2003. The U. S. Navy leased it, re-registered it as N743NV, and ferried it to Oklahoma City on December 18, 2003. Photo courtesy Rick Markel.

E-3 Sentry

The E-3 Sentry serves as an Airborne Warning and Control Systems Aircraft. It tracks all air traffic within hundreds of miles in all weather conditions. It is easily recognized by the presence of a thirty-foot diameter radar dome mounted on a pair of struts above the fuselage. In addition to the U. S. Air Force, E-3 Sentries are also operated by the Royal Air Force, NATO, France, and Saudi Arabia.

Link to the Boeing Company page about international users of the E-3 Sentry.

Link to Federation of American Scientists page about the E-3 Sentry.

E-3A/B/C Sentry

The United States Air Force acquired 34 E-3s. They are operated primarily by the 552nd Air Control Wing based at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. The airframes of the E-3 Sentry fleet were manufactured by Boeing for the Air Force.

Link to home page of the 552nd Air Control Wing

E-3A Sentry, 77-0353 at Edwards Air Force Base on November 3, 1985. It carries Boeing construction number 21553 and was delivered to the Air Force on December 19, 1978.

E-3A Sentry, 77-0353 at Edwards Air Force Base on November 3, 1985.

NATO E-3A Sentry, LX-N90455 at Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers in Europe (SHAPE), Chievres, Belgium on June 25, 1989. NATO acquired 18 E-3 Sentrys. It carries Boeing construction number 22850 and was delivered to NATO on February 11, 1985.

Link to the NATO E-3 Sentry page.

E-3C Sentry, 80-0138 on approach to March Air Force Base on August 11, 1989. It carries Boeing construction number 22830 and was delivered to the Air Force on April 6, 1982.

E-3C Sentry, 80-0138 on approach to March Air Force Base on August 11, 1989.

E-3B Sentry, 76-1604 at Luke Air Force Base on March 17, 1989. It carries Boeing construction number 21434 and was delivered to the Air Force on January 19, 1978.

Close-up of the rotodome on E-3B Sentry, 76-1604 at Luke Air Force Base on March 17, 1989.

E-3B Sentry, 76-1604 at Luke Air Force Base on March 17, 1989.

E-3B Sentry, 75-0556 at Van Nuys on July 21, 1991. It carries Boeing construction number 21047 and was delivered to the Air Force on May 5, 1978.

E-3B Sentry, 76-1605 of the 552nd ACW on static display at Nellis Air Force Base on April 25, 1997. It carries Boeing construction number 21435 and was delivered to the Air Force on May 25, 1978.

E-3C Sentry, 78-0578 of the 962nd Airborne Air Control Squadron (AACS) based at Elmendorf Air Force Base on static display at Edwards Air Force Base on October 3, 1998. It carries Boeing construction number 21754 and was delivered to the Air Force on June 3, 1980. It was originally ordered for the Iranian Air Force, but diverted to the U. S. Air Force after the fall of the Shah.

E-3B Sentry, 75-0560 of the 552nd ACW on approach to Nellis Air Force Base on November 5, 1999. It carries Boeing construction number 21250 and was delivered to the Air Force on November 22, 1977.

E-3B Sentry, 75-0560 on approach to Nellis Air Force Base on November 5, 1999.

E-3B Sentry, 77-0352 of the 552nd ACW on static display at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on November 4, 2000. Additional sensors have been installed under the nose and on the sides of the fuselage. It carries Boeing construction number 21552 and was delivered to the Air Force on November 20, 1978.

E-3B Sentry, 77-0352 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on November 4, 2000.

E-3B Sentry, 77-0352 of the 552nd ACW on approach to Nellis Air Force Base on September 6, 2002.

E-3B Sentry, 77-0352 on approach to Nellis Air Force Base on September 6, 2002.

NATO E-3A Sentry, LX-N90442 at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station on October 18, 2003. It carries Boeing construction number 22855 and was delivered to the NATO on January 22, 1982.

NATO E-3A Sentry, LX-N90442 at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station on October 18, 2003.

NATO E-3A Sentry, LX-N90442 at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station on October 18, 2003.

NATO E-3A Sentry, LX-N90442 at Edwards Air Force Base on October 24, 2003.

Boeing E-3B Sentry, 73-1675 of the 962 AACS Boeing E-3B Sentry, 73-1675 of the 962nd Airborne Air Control Squadron (AACS) Eyes of the Eagles based at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska on static display at Vandenberg Air Force Base on October 31, 2004. It carries Boeing construction number 21185 and was delivered to the Air Force on August 18, 1978.

Link to home page of the 962nd AACS

Sentry AEW1

The Royal Air Force Sentry AEW1 is distinguished from other Sentry variants by SNECMA CFM56 engines and an aerial refueling probe.

Royal Air Force Sentry AEW1, ZH107 on approach to Nellis Air Force Base on February 1, 2000. It carries Boeing construction number 24499 and was delivered to the Royal Air Force on May 12, 1992.

Royal Air Force Sentry AEW1, ZH107 on approach to Nellis Air Force Base on February 1, 2000.

Link to Royal Air Force page about the Sentry AEW1.

E-6 Mercury

The U. S. Navy developed the E-6A Mercury to replace its fleet of Lockheed EC-130Q "Take Charge and Move Out" (TACAMO) communications platforms. They were originally intended to provide communications links to submerged ballistic missile submarines. Later they were modified to take on the additional role of the Air Force "Looking Glass" EC-135 Airborne Command Post (ABNCP) Stratotankers that coordinated the operations of the land-based ICBM force and redesignated E-6B. E-6B Mercurys are operated by Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadrons VQ-3 and VQ-4.

The E-6 Mercury is based on the airframe of the E-3 Sentry. All Mercury airframes were built with high-bypass SNECMA CFM-56-2A-2 engines.

Link to Federation of American Scientists page about the E-6A Mercury.

U. S. Navy E-6A Mercury, BuNo 162782 at March Air Force Base on October 15, 1995. It carries Boeing construction number 23430 and was delivered to the Navy on March 18, 1982.

E-6A Mercury, BuNo 162782 at March Air Force Base on October 15, 1995. The Mercury can unreel a miles-long, very low frequency, trailing wire antenna from its tail to communicate with submerged submarines. A second trailing wire antenna can be unreeled from the lower fuselage.

E-6A Mercury, BuNo 162782 at March Air Force Base on October 15, 1995. Specialized electronic equipment is housed in wing tip pods.

E-6A Mercury, BuNo 162782 at March Air Force Base on October 15, 1995.

E-6B Mercury taking off from Travis Air Force Base on March 3, 2000. A satellite communications antenna has been added on the upper fuselage.

E-6B Mercury taking off from Travis Air Force Base on March 3, 2000.

E-6B Mercury in the pattern at Travis Air Force Base on March 3, 2000.

E-8C J-STARS

The E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (J-STARS) is a long-range, air-to-ground surveillance system. It can monitor vehicle activity on the ground as far away as 150 miles. The E-8C is distinguished by a 26-foot long canoe-shaped radome under the forward fuselage.

The Air Force acquired used 707-320 airliners to convert to the E-8C J-STARS configuration.

Link to Federation of American Scientists page about the E-8C J-STARS.

E-8C J-STARS at high altitude over the Saline Valley on March 24, 1997. Close examination will reveal the radome under the forward fuselage.

E-8C J-STARS, 92-3290 of the 93rd ACW, based at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia on static display at Nellis Air Force Base on April 25, 1997.

92-3290 carries Boeing construction number 19295 and was originally delivered to QANTAS as 707-338C VH-EBV City of Tamworth on September 6, 1967. Zambia Airways bought it on May 20, 1977 and registered it as 9J-AEL. Trans Arabian Air Transport bought it on February 13, 1989 and registered it as ST-ALP. Grumman Aerospace Corporation bought it in June 1992 and registered it as N4115J.

E-8C J-STARS, 92-3290 at Nellis Air Force Base on April 25, 1997.

E-8C J-STARS, 92-3290 at Nellis Air Force Base on April 25, 1997. The fan cowling on the engine nacelle is longer than on the E-3 Sentry. The engine nacelles of the former airliners used for conversion to E-8C configuration had been modified by Tracor Aviation in the 1980s to reduce the level of noise produced by the engines.

The same 707-338C in the livery of Trans Arabian Air Transport at Santa Barbara on April 22, 1989 when it was registered ST-ALP. It had just received a Tracor/Shannon Quiet 707 package conversion.

E-8C J-STARS, 94-0284 of the 93rd ACW at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on November 4, 2000.

94-0284 carries Boeing construction number 19293 and was originally delivered to QANTAS as 707-338C VH-EBT City of Bendigo on January 28, 1967. ITEL Corporation bought it on May 17, 1978 and leased it to British Midland Airways, which subleased it to Pakistan International Airlines, Gulf Air, DETA Mozambique Airlines, and Ariana. ATASCO Leasing Incorporated bought it on August 21, 1985, registered it as N861BX and immediately sold it to Radix Air Corporation. ATASCO Leasing Incorporated bought it back on November 22, 1985 and immediately leased it to Burlington Air Express. Meridian Trust Company bought it on March 10, 1986 and continued to lease it to Burlington Air Express before leasing it to Southern Air Transport. Grumman Aerospace Corporation bought it in June 2, 1994 and registered it as N2178F.

E-8C J-STARS, 94-0284 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on November 4, 2000.

The same 707-338C in the livery of Burlington Air Express at Santa Barbara in January 1986 when it was registered N861BX. It is taxiing out for departure after receiving a Tracor/Shannon Quiet 707 package conversion.
The same 707-338C in the livery of Burlington Air Express at Santa Barbara in January 1986 when it was registered N861BX. It is beginning its take-off roll for departure after receiving a Tracor/Shannon Quiet 707 package conversion.

, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, April 13, 2012 Boeing E-8C J-STARS 02-9111 of the 116th Air Control Wing based at Warner Robins Air Force Base, Georgia on approach to land at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on April 13, 2012.

, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, April 13, 2012 Boeing E-8C J-STARS 02-9111 of the 116th Air Control Wing based at Warner Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

Boeing E-8C J-STARS 02-9111, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, April 13, 2012 Boeing E-8C J-STARS 02-9111 of the 116th Air Control Wing based at Warner Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

Boeing E-8C J-STARS 02-9111, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, April 13, 2012 Boeing E-8C J-STARS 02-9111 of the 116th Air Control Wing based at Warner Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

Boeing E-8C J-STARS 02-9111, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, April 13, 2012 Boeing E-8C J-STARS 02-9111 of the 116th Air Control Wing based at Warner Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

Boeing E-8C J-STARS 02-9111, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, April 13, 2012 Boeing E-8C J-STARS 02-9111 of the 116th Air Control Wing based at Warner Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

Military and Government 707s from other countries

Luftwaffe 707-307C, 10+03 August Euler

Luftwaffe 707-307C, 10+03 August Euler at the Santa Barbara Airport for a Tracor/Shannon Quiet 707 package conversion on November 4, 1986. It carries Boeing construction number 19999 and was delivered to the Luftwaffe on October 31, 1968.

State of Qatar 707-3P1C, A7-AAA

State of Qatar 707-3P1C, A7-AAA taxiing at the Santa Barbara Airport on October 7, 1988 after receiving a Tracor/Shannon Quiet 707 package conversion. It carries Boeing construction number 21337 and was delivered to the State of Qatar on July 28, 1977. It was subsequently acquired by the Israeli Air Force and converted to a tanker.

State of Qatar 707-3P1C, A7-AAC takes off from the Santa Barbara Airport on March 3, 1989 after receiving a Tracor/Shannon Quiet 707 package conversion.

707-3P1C, A7-AAC carries Boeing construction number 21337 and was originally delivered to BOAC as G-AXGX on March 25, 1970. It was leased to the State of Qatar in May 1981, which bought it on July 16, 1984 and registered it as A7-AAC. Chapman Freeman bought it on February 9, 1995 and registered it as VR-BZA. It was acquired by the U. S. Air Force on May 1, 1996 for conversion to E-8C J-STARS configuration, but the conversion did not take place.

Fuerza Aereo Espanola 707-320C, T.17-2

Fuerza Aereo Espanola 707-320C, T.17-2 at the Santa Barbara Airport for a Tracor/Shannon Quiet 707 package conversion on April 29, 1989.

T.17-2 carries Boeing construction number 18757 and was originally delivered to TWA as 707-331C, N792TW on August 19, 1964. TWA leased it to Global International Airways on July 10, 1980 and then to Guinness Peat Aviation on November 12, 1980. TWA leased it to Global International Airways again on December 5, 1980 and then to Guinness Peat Aviation again on November 11, 1981, which subleased it to Faucett. TWA leased it to Boeing on February 12, 1982. Boeing bought it on November 9, 1984. It spent some time in storage at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base before the Fuerza Aereo Espanola acquired it in 1989.

Arab Republic of Egypt 707-366C, SU-AXJ

Arab Republic of Egypt 707-366C, SU-AXJ at the Santa Barbara Airport for a Tracor/Shannon Quiet 707 package conversion in August 1989.

707-366C, SU-AXJ carries Boeing construction number 20919 and was originally delivered to Egyptair on August 21, 1974. It was transferred to the Egyptian government the following month.

Fuerza Aerea Argentina 707-387C, TC-91

Fuerza Aerea Argentina 707-387C, TC-91 at the Santa Barbara Airport in December 1989. It had just arrived for a Tracor/Shannon Quiet 707 package conversion.

707-387C, TC-91 carries Boeing construction number 21070 and was originally delivered to the Fuerza Aerea Argentina as T-01 on June 11, 1975. It was the last Boeing 707-320B to come off the production line. It was converted to 707-320C and re-registered as TC-91 in September 1977.

Fuerza Aerea Argentina 707-387C, TC-91 takes off from the Santa Barbara Airport on January 19, 1990 after receiving its Tracor/Shannon Quiet 707 package conversion.

Fuerza Aerea Colombiana 707-373C tanker, FAC-1201

Fuerza Aerea Colombiana 707-373C tanker, FAC-1201 taking off from Nellis Air Force Base on September 10, 2002.

FAC-1201 carries Boeing construction number 19716. It was delivered to World Airways as 707-373C, N368WA on November 13, 1967. Pakistan International Airlines leased it on September 1, 1970 and registered it as AP-AWD. It was returned to TWA on June 30, 1971 and re-registered as N368WA. Korean Airlines leased it on April 20, 1972, then bought it on March 31, 1976 and registered it as HL7425. The Fuerza Aerea Colombiana acquired it on December 14, 1983.

Wing tip detail of Fuerza Aerea Colombiana 707-373C tanker, FAC-1201 taking off from Nellis Air Force Base on September 10, 2002. The pod on the wing houses an aerial refueling drogue.

Fuerza Aerea Colombiana 707-373C tanker, FAC-1201 taking off from Nellis Air Force Base on September 10, 2002.

NATO 707-307C, LX-N20000

NATO 707-307C, LX-N20000 visited Tinker Air force Base in April 2006. Its construction number is 20000, and it was delivered to the West German Air Force as 10+04 on November 16, 1968. It was transferred to NATO on July 13, 1998. Photo courtesy Rick Markel.

NATO 707-307C, LX-N20000 at Tinker Air force Base in April 2006. Photo courtesy Rick Markel.


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