The support requirements for Apollo, compiled by NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight (OMSF), originally stated a need for twelve heavily instrumented, long-range, high-speed aircraft to supplement the telemetry and communication support to be provided by the Apollo ships. After program refinement that the aircraft requirement would be eight, six to be on station with two standby spares. 61-0329 was one of the original eight Apollo Range Instrumentation Aircraft stationed out of Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.
Capabilities as of 1996
EC-135E - Basic Telemetry/Cruise Missile Mission Control Aircraft-0
Acquires and tracks TM data using a steerable 7-foot antenna, provides worldwide HF voice communication, and real-time UHF satellite data retransmission. Record, monitors and plays back mission data (2 - 14 track wide-band recorders w/dubbing capability)
Constructed C-135A-BN. Construction Number 18236.
Conversion to EC-135N with electrical and structural modifications at Douglas Aircraft, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
December 1, 1967
Aircraft arrived at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.
January 1, 1968
Aircraft Online and Operational as an Apollo Range Instrumentation Aircraft.
Transferred to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 4950th Test Wing, as an Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft.
December 31, 1983
Converted to EC-135E.
November 1, 1992
Last inventory record WPAFB.
February 4, 2009
Tinker Air Force Base as a training aircraft for battle damage repair for the Combat Logistics Support Squadron.
Credit: Randy L. Losey