The completed aircraft, serial number 64-14836, was first revealed by the company in a posting on LinkedIn around June 18, which celebrated one million accident-free working hours at its facility in Greenville, Texas.
Flight testing of the aircraft then began at Greenville, where it was first noted test flying on June 24 before it was delivered on July 11 to the 55th Wing at Lincoln Municipal Airport, Nebraska. The unit is normally based at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, but has been operating from the Nebraska Air National Guard base at Lincoln since April last year while a major runway renovation is undertaken at Offutt. The 55th Wing is scheduled to return home on March 1, 2023.
Just one of these so-called ‘nuke-sniffer’ aircraft, WC-135W 61-2667, remains in service and this will be retired when 64-14836 is delivered, which was scheduled for sometime in July. The remaining two KC-135Rs for conversion are 64-14829 and 64-14831, of which the latter is currently stored at Greenville awaiting its turn for modification, while the former is believed still operational. The aircraft are used for monitoring radiation and taking radioactive particulate samples in the air at a safe distance from any nuclear incident using specialised Advanced Atmospheric Research Equipment.