by Tommy H. Thomason

Friday, September 27, 2013

TA-3B Skywarrior

The trainer designation for the TA-3B is a little confusing since it was a bombardier trainer, not a pilot trainer. Although you can find otherwise, I'm pretty sure that no Skywarrior ever had dual controls.

This was the TA-3B:

It was a Version as opposed to a Bomber. For an explanation of that and a bit more background on the TA-3B, see: and

There were some notable external differences between the TA-3B and the other Versions.

The third crew position on the flight deck faced forward.

Some more views of the flight deck:

The view of the flight deck from the cabin of a VA-3B transport

The canopy configuration was unique since it had a trainee sextant-sight opening above the jump seat on the flight deck.

The bombardier crew position was relocated to the cabin, so the periscope fairing was located farther aft.

The TA-3B had windows on both sides of the cabin instead of only on the right like the EA-3B.

The 20 mm turret was just a sheet metal fairing with a window on its lower side for a camera to score bombing accuracy.

Since it did not have a bomb bay, wing pylons were added to carry practice-bomb dispensers. These pylons were subsequently used on A3Ds modified for missile launch and other test requirements and the aggressor ECM jamming trainer requirement (ERA-3B). (Note that the wing shown is the original one; all the TA-3Bs had the CLE wing: see link above.)

 Rick Morgan provided pictures of a VAH-123 TA-3B with the practice-bomb dispensers on the pylons:

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