Air International 1995-01
R.Francillon - Messenger of the Gods
Chrysler Technologies Airborne Systems Inc has been awarded a contract to initiate development and test the avionics block upgrade. The distinctive radome above the fuselage of BuNo 166406 houses MILSTAR avionics system equipment.
Two trailing wire antennae are deployed from the E-6A; one 8,530m from beneath the rear fuselage and one 1,520m from the tail cone.
Starboard wing tip detail showing the HF antenna and pod housing ESM equipment and UHF SATCOM receiver.
BuNo 164387 overflying runway 21L at Travis AFB while practising missed approach procedures. The undercarriage has been retracted, but leading and trailing-edge flaps are deployed.
This touch-down photograph clearly shows fully-deployed spoilers above the wings and cowling opening for the Hispano-Suiza thrust reversers on all four CFM International F108-CF-100 turbofans.
This view of the E-6A clearly illustrates its commercial civilian 707 lineage. A significant difference, apart from the military insignia, being the wing tip fairings which house SATCOM and ESM equipment.
Boeing E-6 Mercury
E-6A Avionics Block Upgrade (ABU) aircraft with communications and systems enhancements. Principal elements of the upgrade are: 1 GPS information display on flight deck, 2 GPS antenna, 3 EI Flight Essential avionics rack, 4 Dorsal radome, 5 MILSTAR antenna, 6 MILSTAR terminal equipment rack, 7 P20 console, MILSTAR control panel, 8 P30 console, 9 SSPA/C (HTPS). 10 LWTA (HTPS) and II ATWA/UTWA (HTPS).
E-6A Mercury - Operational Mode. When the Long Trailing Wire Antenna (LTWA) is deployed from its vertical hatch, pulled out by the drogue and gravity to its full length, it hangs vertically whilst the Short Trailing Wire Antenna (STWA), which deployed from the rear of the aircraft, forms a dipole. The E-6A flies a tight circular orbit around the vertical wire which becomes a stationary antenna for communicating with SSBNs towing receiving antennae.
Predecessor of the E-6A, an EC-130Q, on approach to McClellan AFB in December 1985. C-130 Hercules were operated in the TACAMO role for over a quarter of a century, from 1964 to 1991.