Martin RB-57D
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Jerrold (Jerry) Roush, e-mail, 26.11.2021 23:35

In 1956 I was an intern draftsman working on the then "Top Secret" RB-57d program. One of my supervisors was Walt Parker.


Carl, e-mail, 24.08.2021 06:08

My dad, Bruce Miller, was a navigator in B57s at Hill from 1960 -1964. He crewed with a few different pilots, his favorite was a guy named Harry. Dad passed away in 2018.


Bob Funkhouser, e-mail, 21.03.2021 21:01

I served with the 4025th on Detachment A&B at Yokota. Anyone out there?


Linda, e-mail, 03.01.2018 02:14

Are you still collecting stories on this plane? If so, let me know. I have a crash story from 1964


Valentin Lopez Jr, e-mail, 20.05.2017 03:37

I was with the 4080th SRW from 1958 to 1962 and assigned to the instrument shop as a 42250. Anyone remember me?


Jack A Martines, e-mail, 02.11.2016 06:34

I flew the EB-57E as well as the EB-57D out of Hill AFB with the 4677th DSES from July 1967-July 1969. The "max performance" t/o referred to could have been done, but I am not sure of the near vertical climb out. The a/c had a warning horn that sounded when speed exceeded airframe stress limits. After becoming airborne, we had to reduce EPR/RPM to avoid exceeding airframe limitations. One or two old timers, "Nails" Nelson or George Celik could have tried the Max performance. I recall clearly that I could t/o and increase pitch to 30-35 degrees climb out and clear the Wasatch range in a climbing turn to the East by the time I reached the end of the runway. Fantastic a/c!


Glenn Chapman, e-mail, 22.06.2016 02:14

For Stan Goldstein---
I worked as a Camera Guy on the RB-57D at Del Rio. The bird ayou are talking about is RB-57D Basic 53-3982. Used to be aa Pima Air Museum in Tucson until the National Museum in Wahington took her back. Good talking with one of the pilots.


Tony Martinez, e-mail, 26.04.2016 21:21

Note for Philip Martineau. Pls contact me at my email as I have info on your father Marty. He was in my sq and flew recon missions out of UK including a non-stpp from Del Rio to Brize Norton UK in Jan 1959.


Tony Martinez, e-mail, 26.04.2016 21:14

I flew RB57D2 from 1956 to 1960. Would like a source for a
good D2 color picture.


Timothy Potter, e-mail, 23.03.2016 10:28

Jim Rieger, tell us about blowing canopy and drop take in the hanger.


Jim Rieger, e-mail, 12.02.2016 22:53

I worked at Glen Martin, Baltimore in the late 60's when the 57's were getting patched up from nom.They needed air
craft people. The first day I was asked to fix fuel gauge
problems. after crawling thru fuel cells I determined probes were not balanced by capacity probes, main and aux. Next time I'll tell about blowing canopy and drop take in the hanger.


Bob Soper, e-mail, 01.02.2016 16:07

I was at Christmas Island, in the 1211th test squadron, assigned to the Instrument shop, although I was actually a 42251. The instrument guys didn't hold it against me. Very interesting time and memories.
The original schedule for maintenance was quickly forgotten, due to all the tropical thunderstorms and I suspect a lot of precautions were forgotten also.


Gasper Dantone, e-mail, 24.10.2015 21:53

Bob pugh, 23.09.2014
I was with flt a det 1 at yokota with the ds,1956 1957 1yr tdy. Looking for guys that were their.

I was there at the same time. Don't remember you, but I have a bad memory. What was your job?


Cliff Smith, e-mail, 22.02.2015 05:00

I was stationed at Hill AFB with The 4677DSES from 9/66 thru 12/68 as an acft Electrician. As I recall the RB-57D-2 at that time were 966,967,968 and 969 and the D-1 acft was 977,980 and 982. All had Artic (orange) wing tip and fuselage marking. I witnessed one of the famous "Max Takeoff" one day in '68, with a normal takeoff roll the pilot lifted and held level until even with the control tower then pulled near vertical for approx 2000 feet then nosed over just a bit, to say a 70-80 degree climb. Holding it at that attitude until it was out of sight. It would remind you of a caterpillar scaling a wall, slow (150Kts) and determined. It seemed it took 4-5 minutes for the engine roar to fade. A friend of mine in the Comm truck told me that Salt Lake Radar reported him 2 miles off the end of the Hill runway and the pilot claimed to be at 49,000 ft. and still climbing. Can anyone out there verify the story?


Harold Schnatz, e-mail, 06.02.2015 00:41

Harold Schnatz. I worked at Transit alert at Tyndall Fla. We had several B*57 Bs we maintainded. I would fly the back seat occasionaly and run the chaff dispencers. We got a B-57D in for high altitude practice and I talked my way in to the back seat.it was the ride of my life. The pilot hit the afterburners on those J101 engines and at about 8000 ft of runway we went straight up to 50,000 ft and leveled off.The pilot said that was as high as we can go without pressure suits. I ran the chaff dispencers. there was paint on the canopy over the back seat but there was enough clear canopy behind the front seat to see an F-101 streaking up at us after the tower said "Red dog 1 you are dead.


Bob pugh, e-mail, 23.09.2014 05:25

I was with flt a det 1 at yokota with the ds,1956 1957 1yr tdy. Looking for guys that were their.


George Haloulakos, CFA, e-mail, 15.08.2014 20:06

The RB57 is a remarkable aircraft that seemingly almost went unnoticed as it was deployed during the Golden Age of Cold War aircraft. I recall seeing actual footage of the RB57 making a high speed fly-over in a "Gilligan's Island" TV episode from the 1964-65 season. The sleek RB57 is an exotic looking aircraft that has sparked my interest as I have come to appreciate its important contributions as a special reconnaissance asset in our arsenal of freedom.


Homer Caldwell, e-mail, 16.07.2014 19:21

My photographs of the D model in flight confirm the opposite of Harold Hill's paint scheme. It was WHITE on top and flat black underneath. Looking up into the darkening skies it would be less visible and if there were flights viewing from above I suppose the white would be difficult to spot if above an overcast of white clouds beneath...since very few times one would see any cloud topping above 50 or 55,000 feet. Our squadron's Tech Rep told us the aircraft was actually flown at an indicated airspeed of 350 knots but at such speeds it would be easy to over-control the roll capability given the quite large aileron/spoiler lateral control surfaces. Thus the 190 knot IAS or the 150 knot IAS restrictions when leading edge tanks were empty was set by the manufacturer; Martin. At extreme altitude the aircraft required 100% attention yet at the same time fairly forgiving.


Mike Breslin, e-mail, 27.06.2014 09:53

Worked in instuments in the 1211th Test SQDN at KAFB. There were a lot of problems with the fuel quantity guages and and some pilots wouldn't fly them back across the "pond". One who would had us show him the tanks were topped off first. [When he landed at Hickam there were palm leaves in the wheel well...said he encountered ufo's at 30K feet]


Glenn Chapman, e-mail, 26.01.2014 00:54

was a side-oblique precision 6" focal length with KC-1B 9" x 9" film magazines with 390 feet of normal base film. This allowed it to film a matrix from nearly horizon to horizon. Loter from an old Nephograhics guy of the 4080th.


George W. Hines, e-mail, 10.01.2014 20:56

I was stationed in Japan in the late 50"s and early 60's we had RB-57Ds through there ocasionlay most were all black with red tail numbers 1" letters and about a 3" us insigna I remember one take off tower told the pilot to call when clearing the tower (he made a vertical) takeoff the tower called about 15 minutes later and ask have you cleared the tower the reply was no we are still climbing.
I remember refueling a U-2 later it was shot down (Col.Francis Scott Powers)
George W.


Phil Martineau, e-mail, 02.08.2013 10:45

I was born in Del Rio in 1960, my father was stationed there, Horace "Marty" Martineau, during that time. I'm not sure if he flew with the 4025th and 4080th but it was the Black Knights, does anyone remember him? I am interested to hear stories about him if anyone has any. Appreciate any info. Thank you.


Phil Warren, e-mail, 03.01.2013 00:18

My dad (Barton Warren)flew one. It was stenciled as an RB-57D2. He was a test pilot for Hughes Aircraft in Culver city. I have pictures of it on Christmas Island where it was used to drop chaff and other metallic objects behind the atomic bomb tests. The project was sponsored, I believe by Columbia University I think. The objective was to determine if US radar systems would be able to detect strategic bombers approaching the US coast if a wall of nuclear bombs were dropped along the coast. Unfortunately he was killed testing the second F-111B produced while testing the Phoenix Missle System in 68, but I do have some pictures of the plane with mushroom clowds painted on the side like "kills".


Steven Beeny, e-mail, 13.08.2012 00:43

Hello all,
I am working on a book about the Canberra in worldwide service and part of my research has led me down the RB-57D path. One of the guys I am talking with, his father was a civilian crew chief that had a lot of B-57 experience in general, but among other things he was involved with the Project Aerospace Reconnaissance Experiment (APRE) RB-57D that I think was at Holloman AB in 1964. This is the machine previously referred to on this page with the geometric patterns painted in black and white. If anyone here was involved with this I would very much like to hear from you. Similarly, if anyone would like to contribute their story to the book, air or ground crew, please do get in touch.


Roy Lofquist, e-mail, 07.08.2012 08:13

Don't know how relevant but I saw a B57D in Peshawar, Pakistan during the Cuban missile thingy.


Stan Goldstein, e-mail, 02.08.2012 04:57

I flew the "D" while with the 4677DSES at Hill from 1962-1963. One of the birds I flew has been restored and is now at USAF Museum in Dayton... Recall the prefilights.... the flight physical from the Flight Surgeon who deployed with us... then off to the mess hall or the hospital dining room for a meal of steak and eggs and cottage cheese... no salt allowed. Upon landing another physical and an allocation of either Old Methusala or Christian Brothers Brandy...


Dave Stern, e-mail, 05.07.2012 01:31

Does anybody remember what issue of Av-Week that actually displayed a photo of the RB-57A or even the 57D model on display in China? I have one of the drones, and 4 U-2s one with slipper tanks flown by CIA, but not one of any 57 Canberra on display. Anybody have a reasonable good dpi image? Thanks.


Chet Bush, e-mail, 01.06.2012 04:34

Ah!yes, the "D" model.... The only Aircraft that could take an aerial Photo of the U-2 at Maximum Altitude. Our Pilots would hold them on the runway until they were near the end and then rotate into a straight up spiral climb out of sight.

B57-D Crew Chief


Dave Stern, e-mail, 16.04.2012 11:49

Anybody interested in trading "Dog" (yes, anything but a dog), images please contact me...U-2 I have some too.

However, information is coming from a far east contact concerning disposition of that RB-57D that was Sa-2'd over China. It was used as template so to speak for what finally resulted in Mya "Mystic." I'm on pins and needles waiting for photos of the D model wreck and what was done with it. if...if the file will be released to my contact. The plan is to present Soviet reverse engineering and flight test info on what they scraped up of our planes. Hang tuff...take no guff, and stay healthy.
DS


Glenn Chapman, e-mail, 24.03.2012 05:27

I was with the RB-57D and U-2 in the 4080th SRW at Del Rio in the late '50s. For the one that wants a copy of the black/white paint job, get hold of a copy of the Aamerican Aviation Historical Society (AAHS) Vol 44, Number 4, Winter, 1999, page 276. This shows white paint under nose and on vertical stab, but ours were flat black in those positions. Our paint shop were the ones that painted them. One of the other guys who messaged here named Ballard, whom I knew, is a real expert crew chief on these birds. E-mail me if you want more at


Vern Little, e-mail, 13.03.2012 06:41

Smallest man in the 4677DSES engine shop. Guess my job. Give the man a starter cartage for the correct answer. "Tailpipe inspecter" Seemed to have a good # of cracks after a "hot" start. If I remember right, we few up yo one and half inch in a seam. Would rate with dirty jobs on TV. Some body said we had fun with them, indeed we did. Felt sorry for the fighter pilots with zero on thire score sheet


Jim Rieger, e-mail, 24.02.2012 04:00

I worked on a "d" model at G L Martin, Baltimore. in early '70s. 2n day on job I was shimering through fuel cells because ga.s didn't read correctly between main and aux. found problem in an hour. the crew that was playing with it for wk's didn't have a clue about sys. later made auto-pilot work before test flight. was told ap never worked correctly before.


Billy Shivers, e-mail, 23.12.2011 22:21

I was an A/1c crewchief on RB57D 966 & 969 Hill AFB 1960-61 & Kirtland AFB & Christmas Island atomic test. A great Acft that brought a lot of attention.
Anyone that was at Christmas Isl. oper. Domonic and has had one of the listed cancers caused by radiation contact me. I will give you the info. on how to get your settlement from theUS Justice Dept. It only takes about a month to get your $75000.00 check. One of my American Legion members flew passangers in and out of Xmas Isl. during Dominic received his check in less than a month after applying. So contact me on how if you have a cancer. dobber16@cablelynx.com


Homer Caldwell, e-mail, 23.05.2011 18:20

An interesting phenomenon of the design of the "D" was the way it could climb out a stalling condition with the outboard wings still in a stalled (wings beffeting) condition while the aircraft was climbing. If you held it in a climb with power at idle, you could hold the nose in the same attitude as the outboard wing began to buffet. Then by slowly incresaing power the aircraft would hold it indicated airspeed you wanted and begin climbing while the outboard sections continued to buffet. Ailerons wre located well inboard thus you could maneuver the aircraft laterally while the stall continued. To break the stall a simple release of the backpressure would do the trick. I never flew another aircraft that you could hold in a stall while continuing full control.


BILLY Shivers M/sgt USAF(ret), e-mail, 08.05.2011 23:37

xfeered from Langley with B57 short wings to Hill AFB when Air Appachies deactivated in 1959.1960 went to boneyard and activated RB57D's. Became crew chief on 971 then crew chief on 966 when it arrived. 966 was a 2 seater RB57DII. Had some good cross country missions in back seat. Capt. Caldwell was one of my pilots. I was an A1C. I remember Bill Crawley, Lester Russell, Pineapple,Garceia, Capt Lafoone, Col Boone,commander a top notch officer,Maj Scanlin. D models were xfeered to Kirtland AFB for the atomic test at xmas island.I was xfeered with the aircraft and wound up at xmas island atomic test. Very intresting. I enjoyed all my time on the B57's lots of good times, lots of TDY out of Hill.
Billy
dobber16@cablelynx.com


Ben Beekman, e-mail, 04.03.2011 19:47

Here are a few RB-57D facts & figures from another website:
Armament: None
Engines: 2 x Pratt&Whitney J57-P-9, 10,000 lb static thrust
Max. speed: About 600 mph @ 45,000 ft.
Cruise speed: About 420 knots @ 65,000 ft.
Combat radius: About 2,000 miles
Service ceiling: About 70,000 ft.
Span: 106 ft.
Length: 66 ft.
Height: 15 ft. 7 inches
Max. takeoff weight: About 59,000 lb
Crew: 1 or 2 depending on variant
Serial numbers: 53-3963 to 53-3982


Dick Winesburg, e-mail, 12.02.2011 07:26

RB 57 D,D1,D2 histroy starts at Turner AFB, Albany GA.


Frank Jauregui, e-mail, 10.02.2011 00:19

I was with the 4677DSES at Hill twice. First as a 'flight
chief and later as the Line Chief. Interesting in the notes/comments no one commented on the Rb-57-d1 or the D2 configurations. Both were at Hill AFB and Were very special aircraft. I enjoyed flying in the back seat on several missions of the RB-57-D2. Of All the Aircraft I worked on, around and with in 23 yeasr of active duty the B-57 was my favoriate aircraft. Most do not know the WB-57F was assembled from mostly B-57 model aircraft (all but the B-57 A models. Lots of History for this fleet that is fading into the sun set FMJ1


Homer Caldwell, e-mail, 22.08.2010 18:54

I flew this aircraft out of Hill AFB on two assignments. It did two things extremely well; takeoff and climb. I can recall days flying at 45,000 ft and having an F86D struggle to try and get a look after a practice intercept. You could drop the landing gear and select full power and stand it on its tail to climb away from the fighter. It was a good airplane that required your complete attention at 70,000 ft.It was ornery but very forgiving. It had an indicated airspeed restriction of 150 kts when fuel was below 5,000 lbs remaining but at max altitude an indicated airspeed of as low as 100 kts would give a true A/S of 460 kts. Boring missions at 65,000 plus and 8 hours alone.


Lindsay Lobwein, e-mail, 12.07.2010 15:32

Reference comment by David Stern (16.3.2010):
Photograph of RB-57D used in APRE appears on page 22 ofSquadron/Signal Publications Aircraft No 77 ISBN 0-89747-184-9.

Their address is 1115 Crowley Driv, Carrollton, Texas 75011-5010.

I am a keen modeller and have made two RB-57Ds.(Plus a few Canberras). Still trying to confirm if the white on the top wrapped around to the leading edge of the bottom of the wing, or did the black wrap around to the top. I'm about to start on a RB-57F.


harold hill, e-mail, 18.05.2010 18:34

we also had b57d models @ hill afb utah from about 1960 to 1964 ours was black on top and white on the bottom and our sqdn was 4677 dses we had 6or 7 of them


Dave Stern, e-mail, 16.03.2010 05:23

Nice article on a little known bird. Once assigned to the 4080SRW at ZDel Rio (also called Felipe Springs) for several years but just after the "Dog' model 57s departed. It remains a handsome impressive plane. I just contacted Hill Historian to locate photos of the birds that flew at Del Rio...I believe 4026th & 4928 (?) SRS with black bellys and white tops. Nobody seems to know where to locate a photo of one D model with white top wing and geometric patterns on it, possibly for U-2 or recon satellite camera calibration? Seemingly an unknown, the D model appears to have done some really neat classified work during its career. There is a possible story here as I write for paceflight History and Air Enthusiast Magazines, so those who flew and maintained the D model are welcome to contact me with memories, maintenance,flying it as opposed to the ever-popular U-2. I'm A&P and comm helio-pilot, and no stranger to aviaiton hsitory at asll! People assigned to 57s or flew are welcome to communicate. Have a good day.


James E Ballard, e-mail, 23.02.2010 14:39

I was privalage to crew one of the D2 at DelRio Tx. in 1957. It was a deram to work on. I went on to the U-2 after we transfered all the B57 out.we bid have one to loose a wing on landing. Retired USAF.


Herb Greathouse, e-mail, 25.01.2010 19:20

Correction, it was the 7407th CSG at Rein-Main AFB that I was assigned to in 1961/62. The 7406th was our sister squador, they flew modified C-130s.


Herb Greathouse, e-mail, 24.01.2010 00:02

I was assigned to the 7406th CSG at Rien-Main AFB, Germany in 1961/62 - Instrument Shop - - one thing I remember is that on a good photo day some of the pilots would push the limit on fuel and return low on fuel and in some cases out of fuel making a gulider landing and have to be towed in. Spy birds are fun.


D. Carpenter, e-mail, 29.05.2008 18:58

In mid 60s these were flown by Nationalist Chinese out of Taipei. Normal mission profile was a takeoff towards Okinawa to gain altitude and then turn 180 back to mainland. Apparently one had O2 system failure and ended up crashing just off beach of northern Okinawa. After losing contact We were doing radio search when a farmer called in thru the local police saying he had seen a big airplane crash into the water. After getting confirmation the recovery operation took several days/weeks and became very restricted however several years later Aviation Week and Space Tech magazine published pictures of both U2s and RB57s on display in China that had crashed or been shot down. More forgotten history


Don N. Nation, e-mail, 15.05.2008 16:19

I flew the B-57D out of HILL AFB in 1966. It was used as a "Friendly Intruder" flying against USAF fighter outfits. We usually operated at 50,000ft. but occasionaly, just for fun, went to a 'bit' higher.


Ed Smart, e-mail, 12.05.2008 00:24

The aircraft wqas assigned to the 4080th Strat Recon Wing based at Del Rio, TX. It also operated from Operating Locations in response to Peacetime Aerial Reconnaissance (PARPO) tasking such as overflights of the disputed area during the Suez Crisis. The RB-57D fleet was grounded after several instances of a wing falling off during landing. Succeeded by the RB-57F which was tasked for air sampling and Air Weather Service assignments


Rick Cotton, e-mail, 03.05.2008 21:31

Although we did not know it at the time, the B-57D was a U-2 backup. A high flyer and very unique to fly. As the Martin Chief Test Pilot, I probably flew all of the 20 that we built and trained the super secret SAC squadron which deployed to Del Rio, Texas and Japan. Another almost forgotten Cold War story. Martin was a fun and diversified A/C Company to fly for but like so many others, got out of the Aircraft business so most of Flight Test types moved on.




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