Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft is an extensively modified C-135. The aircraft's modifications are primarily related to its on-board sensor suite, which allows the mission crew to detect, identify and geolocate signals throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. The mission crew can then forward gathered information in a variety of formats to a wide range of consumers via Rivet Joint's extensive communications suite.
The interior seats 32 people, including the cockpit crew, electronic warfare officers, intelligence operators and in-flight maintenance technicians.
The current RC-135 fleet is the latest iteration of modifications to
this pool of –135 aircraft going back to 1964. Initially employed by Strategic
Air Command to satisfy nationally tasked intelligence collection requirements,
the RC-135 fleet has also participated in every sizable armed conflict
All RC-135s are assigned to Air Combat Command. The RC-135 is permanently
based at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. and operated by the 55th Wing, using
various forward deployment locations worldwide.
Primary Function: Reconnaissance
Another in the Pit-Road 1/700 Metal Plane series is this cast metal Boeing RC-135U reconnaissance aircraft. The top image shows an RC-135V/W Rivit Joint version, while the second image is the RC-135 U Combat Sent version. Slight tail and wingtip differences exists as well. The latter is the aircraft depicted in this kit, but by building up the nose a bit, the newer varient could be modeled as well.
|This kit includes one cast metal aircraft with separate vertical tail section, engines, and landing gear. The casting is clean and only a light amount of cleanup will be needed.||
|The instructions are basic but show everything you need
to assemble these aircraft. Painting instructions are provided for the
early two tone white/grey USAF paint scheme, but the newer overall grey
scheme might be easier to do.
A decal sheet supplies the insignia and other markings to complete the aircraft. They are generic decals, but the main markings are there. If readable, the tail number should be either 14847 or 14849 for the U-model.
There are many diorama possibilities with this aircraft. As for me I am considering a 1/700 Airshow diorama to display this Aircraft along with some of the other Pit-Road aircraft I have collected.
For more information refer to "Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker - More than just a Tanker" by Robert S Hopkins III, published by Aerofax, ISBN 1-85780-069-9.
Thanks to Tim Jacobs, MSgt (ret) former COMBAT SENT signal processor for tech details.
This kit is priced at 1,500 Yen About $14.39 USD. Check out the entire Pit-Road Metal Plane line on their website with online ordering capability and speedy delivery.