Air Refueling Archive

Huge Collection of Air Refueling Pictures

KC-135 Boom Operator Panel

Boom operator's panel.

Boom operator’s panel

Here is a picture of the boom operator’s panel of the KC-135 stratotanker.

  • The gauges at the top indicate the position of the air refueling boom. The green arcs represent the air refueling envelope that the receiver aircraft must remain inside of. The red markings on the gauges are the limits of the air refueling envelope. If the receiver exceeds these limits and the tanker’s signal system is in NORMAL, then an automatic disconnect will occur.
  • The boom signal coil voltmeter on the right of the panel shows the status of the boom nozzle signal coil when the PUSH TO TEST button is pressed. The voltmeter displays OPEN, GOOD, and SHORTED.
  • The TEST CONTACT button advances the signal system to CONTACT when pressed if the signal amplifier is operational.
  • The RESET READY button resets the signal system to READY.
  • The blue, green, and orange lights display the current status of the air refueling signal system. The blue READY light indicates the system is ready for contact with a receiver. The green CONTACT light indicates that the boom is in contact with a receiver and that fuel transfer can occur. The orange DISCONNECT light indicates that a disconnect signal has been received.
  • The TLSCP AT DISCONNECT (telescope at disconnect) switch selects if the boom will automatically retract when a disconnect signal is received. It has two positions AUTO, and MANUAL.
  • The PILOT DIRECTOR LIGHTS are controlled by four rheostats for the background elevation & letters and telescope and for the position elevation and telescope pilot director lights.
  • The NACELLE ILLUMINATION rheostats control the brightness of the engine illumination lights.
  • The A/R FlOODLIGHT rheostat controls the brightness of the tail mounted air refueling floodlight.
  • The BOOM NOZZLE rheostat controls the brightness of the boom mounted nozzle light that shines light on the boom nozzle.
  • The UNDER BODY rheostat controls the brightness of lights mounted on the inboard side of the inboard engine struts that illuminate the under body of the aircraft to help with night air refueling.
  • The UNDER WING rheostat controls the brightness of lights mounted on the underside of the aft fuselage that illuminage the underside of the wings.
  • The BOOM MARKER controls turn on ultraviolet fluorescent tube lights mounted in the boom that cause fluorescent markings on the boom to glow for night air refueling. The ON/OFF switch controls power to the lights and the START positions of the start switch each turn on one of the two fluorescent lights. The neon lights indicate the status of the marker lights.
  • The DIRECTOR LIGHTS GROUND TEST switch is used to turn on all pilot director lights at once for maintenance testing.

 

November 3, 2013 Posted by | 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, Boom Operator, Boom Pod View, KC-135A, KC-135E, KC-135Q, KC-135R | Leave a comment

F-104 Refueling

A F-104C refuels from a boom to drogue adapter (BDA) equipped KC-135 Stratotanker

A F-104C refuels from a boom to drogue adapter (BDA) equipped KC-135 Stratotanker

Image Source:

http://elpoderdelasgalaxias.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/lockheed-f-104c-starfighter-the-always-thirsty-missile-2/

December 9, 2012 Posted by | 1960s, Boom Pod View, F-104, KC-135A, Probe/Drogue | Leave a comment

Boom Operator Memorial – Altus AFB, OK

Click for a 50 Megapixel image

This memorial is a lasting tribute to those who gave the last full measure of devotion that freedom might survive lost in the steadfast performance of duty they, their crews, and families have the gratitude of an eternally thankful nation. It is with solemn pride and a heavy heart that we acknowledge these who have laid so costly an offering upon the altar of freedom and ensured we shall never forget their sacrifice.

Boom Memorial Names

KB-29 SUPERFORTRESS
7-Jul-51 TSGT HENRY H. HILL
7-Jul-51 1LT JACK W. KERN
7-Jul-51 CPL REGINALD F. RUSSELL
7-Jul-51 SSGT SCOTT L. WALLACE
10-Jul-53 SGT WALTER F. OLSEN
26-Dec-56 TSGT THURMAN RANIER
10-Jan-57 TSGT EDWARD C. CLEMONS
10-Jan-57 SSGT MICHAEL B. MCINTOSH
2-Feb-57 MSGT LAWRENCE M. GRIGORY
2-Feb-57 A2C ARTHUR B. KOSIER
2-Feb-57 A3C FRANKLIN D. SCHWEIGERT
KB-50 SUPERFORTRESS
13-Mar-57 A2C ROBERT E. CRAIG
13-Mar-57 A2C BILLY B. ROSE
8-May-57 SSGT THOMAS E. O’CONNOR
8-May-57 A3C DONALD E. COSPER
13-Aug-58 A2C FRANCIS C. HERMANCE, JR.
13-Aug-58 SSGT NORBERT T. KNULTY
22-Jan-59 A2C IGNACIO W. SANCHEZ
22-Jan-59 TSGT WAYNE M. SOUDER
4-Aug-59 A2C THOMAS M. PAYTON
18-Oct-60 SSGT HARDIN A. BAILEY
18-Oct-60 A2C THOMAS J. LANE
18-Oct-60 A3C MICHAEL W. MILLER
5-Mar-61 SSGT HAROLD D. MEEUSEN
5-Mar-61 A2C CLIFTON C. TABOR
8-Jan-62 A2C PAUL M. CLAWSON
8-Jan-62 A2C CARLTON A. LINK
8-Jan-62 SSGT BILLIE D. MOORE
9-Feb-62 A1C GUY L. POWELL
9-Feb-62 A2C RALPH E. REUTZEL
20-Dec-62 SSGT ROBERT T. CRAIG
20-Dec-62 SSGT JAMES R. HAYES
13-Aug-64 SSGT WALTER B. HICKMAN, JR.
13-Aug-64 SSGT CAREY A. LIVINGSTON
KC-97 STRATOFREIGHTER
9-Nov-51 SGT JAMES A. MAINS
27-Jun-54 A1C DAVID ARAMBULA
27-Jun-54 SSGT ROBERT O. GONZALES
27-Jun-54 SSGT VINCENT PROVENZANO
23-Feb-55 SSGT ROBERT E. ROSENCRANCE
23-Feb-55 A2C CHARLES J. SITFA
4-May-55 A1C MARVIN R. DEVRIES
4-May-55 A1C JOSEPH L. PRIDGEN
13-Jul-55 SSGT GEORGE R. MIGNOSA
13-Jul-55 SSGT MARVIN F. RUSK
25-Apr-56 SSGT DONALD S. DELPRIORE
25-Apr-56 A2C JURI E. JOONAS
25-Apr-56 SSGT KENNETH E. VANPATTON
26-Jun-56 TSGT BARDEL A. CRUM
26-Jun-56 SSGT ROBERT L. WALLACE
6-Jul-56 A2C WILLIAM L. FALCONER
22-Jan-57 SSGT JOEL V. BLACKWELL
22-Jan-57 SSGT RAYMOND E. NOAH
18-Jul-57 SSGT JACKIE J. JAMERSON
29-Oct-57 TSGT RONALD E. RUBLE
12-Nov-58 MSGT CURTIS W. KING
12-Nov-58 A2C JOHN M. SCSERBAK
22-Jul-59 TSGT JAKE SCHMIDT
30-Mar-60 SSGT SHIRLEY D. RENNER
27-Jun-60 TSGT ROBERT P. COSTELLO
28-Feb-61 SSGT ERNEST J. LEMOINE
5-Nov-64 SSGT GERALD W. SHULTZ
19-Dec-64 TSGT JAMES R. BILL
KC-135 SRATOTANKER
27-Jun-58 MSGT DONALD H. GABBARD
25-Nov-58 TSGT RONALD L. CHAMPION
31-Mar-59 TSGT HERMAN A. CLARK
15-Oct-59 SSGT PAUL R. THOMASSON
3-Feb-60 SSGT GEORGE W. SHORT
9-May-62 SSGT WALLACE R. ADAMS
10-Sep-62 TSGT JOHN L. DUNCAN
10-Sep-62 TSGT KENNETH A. QUINN
27-Feb-63 TSGT DANIEL C. CAMERON
21-Jun-63 MSGT DANIEL F. DONAHUE
28-Aug-63 MSGT CARL H. BURRIS
28-Aug-63 TSGT RAY L. FISH
8-Jul-64 SSGT ROBERT L. GRAVES
4-Jan-65 SSGT JIMMY TARDIE
16-Jan-65 SSGT REGINALD R. WENT
26-Feb-65 MSGT CAREY W. ADDISON JR.
3-Jun-65 TSGT LESTER M. ALLSOP
17-Jan-66 MSGT LLOYD POTOLICCHIO
17-May-66 TSGT HARRY L. ALEXANDER
19-May-66 SSGT CHARLES E. STUART
19-Jan-67 MSGT ORVILLE MONTGOMERY
17-Jan-68 TSGT CHARLES C. CHAPLIN
30-Jul-68 SGT CHARLES A. OLVIS JR.
30-Jul-68 SSGT HURSCHEL D. PRIDDY
2-Oct-68 TSGT EARL B. ESTEP JR.
22-Oct-68 SMSGT HOWARD B. BENGE
19-Dec-69 SMSGT HOWARD G. BENFORD
3-Jun-71 SSGT RICHARD D. ROUSHER
13-Jun-71 TSGT HUBERT MILES JR.
13-Mar-72 SGT BRUCE J. KLAVERKAMP
25-Mar-75 SMSGT JACKIE V. EGBERT
7-Dec-75 SGT DAVID M. WANDEL
6-Feb-76 SSGT LLOYD D. BAKER
26-Sep-76 TSGT GARY L. CARLSON
19-Sep-79 SMSGT ALBERT L. EVANS
13-Mar-82 TSGT DONALD J. PLOUGH
19-Mar-82 MSGT RICHARD A. CROME
27-Aug-85 TSGT CLAUDE F. ARDEN
27-Aug-85 SSGT DESIREE LOY
17-Jun-86 SSGT QUINN L. DEWITT
13-Mar-87 SSGT RODNEY S. ERKS
13-Mar-87 SMSGT PAUL W. HAMILTON
11-Oct-88 A1C ROBERT L. PARHAM
20-Nov-88 MSGT JAMES L. BORLAND
31-Jan-89 CAPT ROBERT LEWELLYN
31-Jan-89 SSGT DAVID VICKERS
20-Sep-89 MSGT CHERYL HELGERMAN
20-Sep-89 MSGT WILLIAM J. MALICO
4-Oct-89 A1C JACK D. CUPP
19-Nov-97 MSGT ROBERT “TUG” MCGRAW
13-Jan-99 TSGT RICHARD D. VISINTAINER
ADDED SINCE BOOM MEMORIAL DEDICATION
KC-97 STRATOFREIGHTER
27-Aug-56 A1C WILLIAM R. DENNIE Jr.
27-Aug-56 A3C RICHARD A. RIDLON
ADDED SINCE BOOM MEMORIAL DEDICATION
KB-29 SUPERFORTRESS
8-Apr-54 A2C FREDERICK L. MARSHALL
8-Apr-54 A2C WAYNE D. WHITSELL

June 11, 2011 Posted by | 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, Boom Operator, KB-29, kb-50, KC-10, KC-135, KC-135A, KC-135E, KC-135Q, KC-135R, KC-97 | 2 Comments

YC-15 Inflight Refueling

Special thanks to Scott Mahew for bringing these great pictures to my attention. These are very rare pictures of a McDonnell Douglas YC-15 being refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker. The YC-15 was McDonnell Douglas‘ entrant into the U.S. Air Force‘s Advanced Medium STOL Transport (AMST) competition, to replace the C-130 Hercules as the USAF’s standard STOL tactical transport. In the end neither the YC-15 norBoeing YC-14 was ordered into production, although the YC-15′s basic design would be used to form the successful C-17 Globemaster III.

McDonnell Douglas YC-15 in the pre-contact position behind a KC-135 Stratotanker.

McDonnell Douglas YC-15 in the pre-contact position behind a KC-135 Stratotanker.

A McDonnell Douglas YC-15 approaches the contact position behind a KC-135 Stratotanker.

A McDonnell Douglas YC-15 approaches the contact position behind a KC-135 Stratotanker.

A McDonnell Douglas YC-15 approaches the contact position behind a KC-135 Stratotanker.

YC-15 in contact with a KC-135.

Image Source:

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ko&tl=en&u=http://kr.blog.yahoo.com/shinecommerce/27383.html%3Fp%3D1%26pm%3Dl%26tc%3D66%26tt%3D1296879711

February 26, 2011 Posted by | 1970s, Boom Pod View, External View, KC-135, KC-135A, YC-15 | , | Leave a comment

History of Refueling

Great documentary about Air Refueling that aired on the Military Channel.

January 22, 2011 Posted by | 1920s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, B-47, B-52, Boom Operator, Boom Pod View, F-104, F-105, F-15, F-16, F-4, History, KB-29, kb-50, KC-10, KC-135, KC-135A, KC-97, Probe/Drogue, Question Mark, Receiver View, Video | 2 Comments

SR-71 Refueling

SR-71 Refueling from KC-135 Stratotanker
SR-71 Refueling from KC-135 Stratotanker

This image was taken in 1984 with pilot Les Dyer at the controls of the sleek Mach 3 SR-71 Blackbird. The KC-135Q was a specially modified version of the KC-135 that could separate its body tank fuel from the wing tank fuel so that it could carry the JP-7 fuel that the SR-71 required. Reengined KC-135Qs were redesignated KC-135T.

Image Source:

Les Dryer

December 12, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, KC-135A, SR-71 | 1 Comment

50 Years Of The KC-135

Excellent documentary on the KC-135 Stratotanker including details on the tri-level refueling that earned the 1967 Mackay Trophy. Also included is a first hand account of towing a crippled F-4 Phantom. This mission received the 1983 Mackay Trophy.

Video Source:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehPg2aDJot4

November 25, 2010 Posted by | 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, KC-135, KC-135A, KC-135R | Leave a comment

This is a nice refueling scene from the classic movie “A Gathering of Eagles”. During the refueling a fuel manifold bursts open in the cockpit of the B-52 and an emergency breakaway is executed. All electrical equipment is shut off and the aircraft is forced to perform a high speed flaps up landing resulting in hot brakes.

Video Source:

http://www.youtube.com/user/oisiaa

October 10, 2010 Posted by | 1960s, B-52, Boom Operator, Boom Pod View, External View, KC-135A | , | Leave a comment

Experimenting with jet refueling – Multiple F-84 refueling configurations

By the late 1940s and early 1950s, air refueling had been around in an experimental capacity for nearly 30 years. With the end of the Second World War and the inception of the Cold War, air refueling was seen as a vital technology that had to be further developed so that fuel hungry jet aircraft would have the range and endurance required to perform their required missions. The F-84 Thunderjet existed during this time of air refueling development and refinement; therefore it saw numerous configurations that included multiple drogue and receptacle variants. One of the more interesting configurations tested was a dual probe system that required the F-84 to refuel each of its wingtip mounted tanks with a separate probe that was integral to each tank. This highly offset design made it difficult for the receiver pilot to accurately make contact with the tanker’s drogue. The distance from aircraft centerline meant that the pilot would have to look sideways to align the probe with the drogue. During this time he would have to use his peripheral vision to fly formation off of the tanker. Complicating matters was the fact that any roll would be magnified at the wingtip.

Another drogue refueling method employed by later model F-84s was a single point refueling probe. The probe was located on the left side of the forward fuselage. This positioning made it much easier for the pilot to see the probe while still being able to fly formation off of the tanker. This design has proved to be the best positioning for refueling probes, and aircraft today still feature their probes in a similar position with respect to the pilot.

A third refueling system that can be found on the F-84 is a boom receptacle installed on the upper surface of the left wing. This design allowed an equipped F-84 to receive fuel from a boom tanker. The boom method of refueling lowered the receiver pilot’s workload because all he had to do was fly into the air refueling envelope after which the tanker’s boom operator could precisely place the nozzle into the receptacle. The rigid flying boom also provides a certain amount of stability (especially to small and lightweight aircraft like the F-84) between the two aircraft by resisting forward and aft motion. The receiver aircraft is still free to move for and aft in the envelope, but must first exceed pressure relief valves in the boom’s retract mechanism.

Dual Wingtip Tank Refueling

An F-84 aligning with the drogue. Notice how far off center the pilot must look to line up the probe with the basket. Any turbulence would make this essentially impossible.

F-84 on the basket.

An F-84 refueling its right wingtip tank. Unknown cause of fuel spray, likely slosh from tank vent.

Refueling the left tank from the second probe.

F-84 refueling from KB-29

KB-29 refueling F-84E over Korea in 1952

Single Point Probe

F-84 with single point drogue refueling taking fuel from a KC-135.

Boom and Receptacle

A receptacle equipped RF-84 pulls into the contact position behind a KB-29P

F-84 in contact with a KB-29P

High over West Texas, two F-84Gs of the 31st Fighter Escort Wing pull in behind a waiting KB-29P during Operation Fox Peter One. Note the opened receptacle on the upper surface of the left wing.

A F-84 taking fuel from a KC-97G using the boom and receptacle method of refueling.

An F-84 banks off to the right after refueling from a KC-97. Note the opened receptacle and drop tanks.

An excellent image of an F-84 pulling up behind a KB-29P. The KB-29P was the only tanker to have the boom operator situated above the boom. It was found difficult to align the boom from this position.

F-84 Refueling from KC-97

August 24, 2010 Posted by | 1950s, 1960s, Boom Pod View, External View, F-84, General, History, KB-29, KC-135, KC-135A, KC-97, RF-84 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

F-106 Refueling

A trio of Convair F-106s refuel from a KC-135.

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the primary all-weather interceptor aircraft for the United States Air Force from the 1960s through the 1980s. Designed as the so-called “Ultimate Interceptor”, it has proven to be the last dedicated interceptor in USAF service to date. It was gradually retired during the 1980s. In this picture, a threesome of Darts take on fuel from a KC-135.

August 24, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, External View, F-106, KC-135, KC-135A | , | 1 Comment

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