Secret CIA overflights of China using converted Neptunes

The little-known RB-69A was used by the CIA and Republic of China Air Force to mount covert overflights across the mainland of communist China. Dr Kevin Wright explores the career of the USAF type that never was…

From its establishment in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) engaged in an aggressive campaign countering communist influence across the world. In East Asia, working with the Nationalist Chinese government in Taiwan, it dropped agents, supplies, propaganda material and equipment using modified Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses, Martin B-26 Marauders, Consolidated P4Y Privateers, and Curtiss C-46 Commandos. But by the mid-1950s these aircraft needed urgent modernisation.

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