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. 

Preserved B-47s

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


30 thoughts on “B-47 Versions”

    1. 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. Did any of the B-47L PACCS Relay Aircraft survive to date? They served the PACCS mission proudly, though with difficulty.

  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.

    1. 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


    1. 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.
    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)

    1. 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??

    1. I too was stationed at YPG from 1964 through 1965 as a MP. It is my understanding that it took a well trained test pilot to land it at YPG because the runway there was a bit short to handle that aircraft. As for it being there, I understood it was undergoing hot weather testing of stuff like seals and gaskets and that sort of thing. In the 2 years I was there, it never flew. I would guess that if the runway was to short to land, it was too short to take off. For that reason, I would guess that it was scrapped as they did to the Overland Train that was there at the same time period.

  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?

    1. 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

      1. 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?


  9. Do you have any records indicating the fate of the following aircraft?

    Boeing B-47E-60-LM Stratojet, 53-1876, c/n 290

  10. The B-47e that I was assigned to was 53-1953
    it was an E model and had a radome aft of the bomb bay just ahead of the drag chute compartment, The airplane dispensed chaff and sometimes had an E.C.M.pod fitted in the bomb bay. When I see a model of a B-47 E the ones I see lack the aft radome. Was our plane special in that respect? Our flight crew stuffed my clothes with chaff when the Orderly Room Clerk showed up At the plane during preflight and told everyone that the C.O. needed to see me about me getting married. It was a fond memory I’ll not forget we had a great relationship between the flight crew and the Crew chiefs crew.

  11. It might be worth mentioning in the EB-47L narrative that this aircraft was in relay between the Airborne Command Post (Looking Glass) and the numbered Air Force Command Posts (when they were up). There were two L models on the west link and one on the East link. There was no relay to 2nd AF. The radios were located in a pod in the bomb bay and the controls were behind the copilot.

  12. My dad was B-47 command pilot stationed at Homestead AFB in the late 50s. Does anyone out there remember that era at that base,

  13. I did not see an EB-47E that had the capsule for the EWOs, flew the “Brown Cradle” and was attached to the 301st at Lockbourne. I remember that it had a capsule located somewhere just aft of the entry hatch and one couldn’t bring the gear down in ’63 or “64 and ground that capsule off. Is there not a picture of that variant somewhere?

  14. Hi Jim Nicely,
    There are two books that have a wealth of pics. & tell the B-47 story quite well. Boeing B-47 Stratojet, by Mark Natola Pictures mainly. And Boeing’s B-47 Stratojet, by Alwyn T. Lloyd, a start to finish of the B-47 story. I think I found them on Amazon. Great pics. & information.
    Tony Calandra

  15. I am curious to know if there are any members who flew as copilot on the EB-47L? I know they didn’t stay long, but they provided an invaluable support role for the Post Attack Command Control System (PACCS).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Preserving the legacy of the Boeing B-47 StratoJet Bomber