by Tommy H. Thomason

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

EKA-3B versus EA-3B, One More Time

Trumpeter's 1/48 KA-3B kit includes a bomb-bay mounted crew compartment, apparently to be used for a forthcoming EKA-3B kit along with external antennas. They probably relied on the following drawing in an aviation enthusiast's publication because there is no cabin in the fuselage of the EKA-3B.
Unfortunately, the artist conflated the internal details of an EA-3B (electronic reconnaissance), which did have a cabin in the fuselage, with the external details of an EKA-3B (jammer/tanker). The inflight refueling hose reel is also way undersized and the EKA-3B, unlike the EA-3B, did not have a deployable ram-air turbine for emergency power.

The EKA-3B was a modified KA-3B (tanker), which was a bomber; the EA-3B was one of the so-called versions, A3Ds with the fuselage aft of the cockpit rearranged to provide a cabin.

This is a crude illustration from a Navy manual of the major changes to a tanker that resulted in an EKA-3B.
This is a late-configuration EA-3B (the original had a pod-type fairing on the top of the vertical fin and smaller fairing than shown here on the bottom of the fuselage.)
Note the windows for the cabin, the emergency-egress door on the side of the fuselage, and the different framing on the canopy associated with the increased cockpit/cabin pressurization of the versions.

For completeness at the risk of adding to the confusion, this is an ERA-3B, a photo-reconnaissance "version" modified with an array of radio/radar jamming equipment to provide ECM training for U.S. Navy warships.

For more details on the A3D/A-3 family, see

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