Boeing NC-135A Stratolifter
S/N 60-0377 B-2 Avionics Test Bed
The Boeing C-135A “Stratolifter” is a transport aircraft derived from the prototype Boeing 367-80 jet airliner (also the basis for the 707) in the early 1950s. It has a narrower fuselage and is shorter than the 707. Boeing gave the aircraft the internal designation of Model 717. Since the first one was built in August 1956, the C-135 has been a fixture of the USAF.
This aircraft, 60-0377, started out as a standard C-135A “Stratofreighter.” It was then converted to the NC-135A configuration when it was adapted to be the B-2 avionics testbed, on which the radar and navigation systems were tested and validated, with over 300 sorties, before the B-2 took to the air.