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General Dynamics modified a few additional B-57Bs to give Military Airlift Command's Air Weather Service its 17 WB-57F contingent. The WB-57Fs, former RB-57Fs as well as newly reconfigured B-57Bs, retained the RB-57F's price-$9 million each. The redesignated aircraft stayed at Kirtland AFB, with the same squadron, for very similar purposes. Among other duties, the 58th Squadron for years continued to fly high altitude radiation sampling missions to furnish data to the Defense Atomic Support Agency. In mid 1973, however, both the aircraft and the squadron neared their end. The Air Force planned to inactivate the 58th and to put all WB-57Fs out of the active inventory in mid 1974. Two of the aircraft were scheduled to go to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where they were expected to support further high altitude sampling projects and the development of satellite systems.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:39:20 ZULU