Douglas EA-3B Skywarrior Begins Restoration

wpsynd19746Among the longest serving carrier-based jet aircraft in history, the Douglas EA-3b Skywarrior entered service in the mid-1950s and was retired in 1991. For many years after its introduction, it was also the heaviest aircraft to operate from an aircraft carrier, earning it its unofficial nickname, “The Whale.” While it was originally intended as a strategic bomber, its primary function for much of its later service life was as an electronic warfare platform, tactical air reconnaissance platform, and high capacity aerial refueling tanker.

The Skywarriors were withdrawn from active military service shortly after the First Gulf War and were sent to storage in “The Boneyard” at Davis-Monthan AFB in Pima, Arizona. In early 2011 the US Navy ordered that all remaining Skywarriors were to be loaned to approved museums or scrapped, leading to the Vietnam and Desert Storm veteran BuNo 146453 being allocated to the Vintage Flying Museum of Fort Worth, Texas where the restoration of the plane is now underway.

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