B-47 Versions

The Boeing B-47 Stratojet was a medium-range, strategic bombardment aircraft developed around a shoulder-mounted wing with a 35 degree sweep back wing with six podded engines slung below the wing.

As in almost every case of aircraft development later and better design and uses become the normal. In the development of the Boeing B-47 the primary shape and design was held, however  requirements varied. Below you will find 27 known variations that were either designed, built, or discarded in this developmental stage of the B-47 series. The B-47E, (strategic bomber) along with the RB-47E and H (reconnaissance versions) became the dominate versions of the aircraft series built. 

The B-47 was manufactured primarily by Boeing, however many were also sub-contracted to Douglas (Tulsa OK) and Lockheed (Marietta GA). To see a list by manufacturer and by serial number click here.

The following material was originally compiled and posted on the internet by Joe Baugher. It has been edited by Burwell Block. Additional material was contributed by David Hall, Andy Labosky, Bob Robbins and Mark Natola. Comments and corrections may be forwarded to Jim Diamond.

01. XB-47                              02. B-47A

03. B-47B                              04. RB-47B

05. MB-47                              06. DB-47

07. TB-47B                            08. WB-47B

09. YB-47C                           10. XB-47D

11. B-47E                              12. YDB-47E

13. DB-47E                           14. EB-47E

15. ETB-47E                         16. QB-47E

17. WB-47E                           18. RB-47E

19. YB-47F                            20. KB-47G

21. RB-47H                           22. ERB-47H

23. YB-47J                            24. RB-47K

25. EB-47E                            26. EB-47L

27. CL-52                               28. Sources

All Variant Files

19 thoughts on “B-47 Versions

    • Maj. Rayfield; Our records show B-47 52-154 (52-0154) was one of the 35 EB-47L aircraft and was stationed at Lincoln AFB (307th BW) and may also have been at Lockbourn AFB (301st BW) as well. I’m sure some of our members may have flew it, I know one of our members worked on it at Lincoln. Check this URL: http://www.aero-web.org/specs/boeing/eb-47l.htm

  1. My Form 5 indicates that I flew in this B-47E on a training mission at McConnell AFB. Ks.. The date was 24 Aug 1960. The IP was Capt. Wyman.

  2. Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch since I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! “By nature, men are nearly alike by practice, they get to be wide apart.” by Confucius.

  3. How many B-47Es were assigned to a combat ready wing during the 50-60s? I realize some would be out of commission due to scheduled or unscheduled maintainence, but about how many total were assigned to a Wing? Thanks.

    • Hugh; In 1953-1958 period there was normally 15 B-47′s assigned to each squadron in a wing, there being at that time 3 B-47 squadrons in each wing making normally 45 B-47′s in a wing. At times there may have been 2-3 more or less due to major modifications requirements but 45 was the normal. There was normally 2 wings at most SAC bases making 90 B-47 at a normal operational base. Added to this was a Air Refueling Squadron in each wing normally consisting of 15 KC-97s making some bases having 120 aircraft assigned making a very crowded parking ramp. After that period of time there was an extra squadron added to some wings and an additional number of B-47′s assigned, at times making up to 70 B-47s in a wing. Normally at this time there was only one wing at each base and they were called super wings. Some B-47 wings by that time were being converted into B-52 wings as the B-47 was being phased out.

  4. Need help locating information associated with a little known B-47 used for atmospheric / weather research by Air Force Geophysical Research Directorate (AF Cambridge Research Laboratory – in Bedford Mass.) between 1953 and 1967 – for book project. Specifically its participation in hurricane research in 1960 and Project Stormfury (1965-67).
    This is not the NHRP WB-47B used by the weather bureau in 1956-58.
    Looking to connect with anybody involved with the GRD B-47 aircraft.

    David Reade
    P-3 Publications
    Nova Scotia
    Canada B0K1H0

    david@p-3publications.com

    • David; I have found the following and as far as I can find B-47B 51-2115 was the only designated GB-47B.
      I found this little bit of info. Was converted to WB-47B weather aircraft and used by Air Weather Service from Jun 1956, then to instructional air frame by Oct 1962 when re-designated GB-47B. Probably the most exotically painted Stratojet. On this site go to the “B-47 Versions” page and select item #8 WB-47B for a picture and small bit of information.

  5. Great website!
    I’m interested in the S/N’s of the two 306th BW B-47B’s that, on Oct. 15, 1952, flew the first deep penetration missions over Siberia, taking off from Eielson AFB.
    This is for a plastic modeling project.
    Thanks,
    Peter Zanella

  6. Picture nr 04 is labelled wrong. Airfraft 53-4299 is an RB-47H not an RB-47B. This aircraft was retired in the mid 1960s, delivered to the Salina , Kansas airport for display. In 1998-9 it was brought to the USAF Museum (Now known as the National Museum of the United States Air Force”) for restoration. After three years of restoration 299 replaced B-47 2280 inside the museum, in the Cold War Gallery. I was given unlimited access to photograph the restoration over those three years, and have about 300 photos of the process. (2280 sits on the restoration ramp at the museum)

    • Jack; We are well aware of the picture being an RB-47H, we just did not have a photo of an RB-47B and used that picture as a placeholder.

  7. While based at the Yuma Proving Grounds from 1963-1967 I was aware of a B-47 that sat for years in the hot sun near the main base but never flew that I am aware. Does anyone know why this aircraft was there and where it eventually ended up. Scrapped or in a museum somewhere??

  8. QUESTION: Why did almost none of the B-47E’s have a U.S. insignia (star and bar) on the rear of the fuselage? Did it have anything to do with the use of RATO?

    • K N Moll; That is a very good question about the Star & Bars decal on the fuselage. I have queried several people on this with no definitive answer. We have came to the conclusion it was not because or the RATO as we have pictures of B-47s on alert with the RATO rack installed and with the Star and Bars on the fuselage. If anyone does have the reason for this please let us know. Jim Diamond

      • Hi Jim,
        I believe it was an anti flash/radiation measure.
        Think the Star and Bars were discontinued on B-47B/E’s when their undersides were painted anti radiation white – late’55/early’56?

        cheers,
        Graham

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