Air Refueling Archive

Huge Collection of Air Refueling Pictures

KB-29P – Heated Ruddevators

The boom of the KC-29P featured heated ruddevators so that ice would not accumulate on the control surfaces. Click image to enlarge

The boom of the KB-29P featured electrically heated ruddevators so that ice would not accumulate on the control surfaces. Click image to enlarge

This article from the June 1950 edition of Popular Science discusses the electrically heated ruddevators of the newly designed boom fitted to a KB-29p. Heated ruddevators were dropped from future boom designs, presumably due to the different refueling altitude that the KC-97 and KC-135 operated at. Note the B-50 being refueled in the bottom right picture. If anybody has information on the history of heated ruddevators (which booms featured them), please let me know through the comments.

Boeing developed the rigid flying boom system to improve on the hose and drogue in-flight refueling (IFR) system. The boom, mounted at the aft-most portion of the KB-29P, was fitted with two small wings that allowed the boom operator to maneuver the boom. The pilot of the receiver aircraft, guided by the boom operator and light signals on the tanker belly, flew behind and below the tanker for refueling. Once in position, the boom operator “flew” the boom into the refueling receptacle, and the KB-29P flight engineer began fuel transfer.

The flying boom system became the most common method for IFR and was used on KB-50s and KC-97s. It is still used on the USAF’s modern tankers — the KC-135 and KC-10.

Sources:

May 10, 2009 Posted by | 1950s, External View, History, KB-29 | , | 1 Comment

KB-29P Boom Operator’s Station

The boomer in the KB-29 operated his equipment from a station in the converted tail turret of the bomber. Click image to enlarge.

The boomer in the KB-29P operated his equipment from a station in the converted tail turret of the bomber. Click image to enlarge.

The Boom Operator’s station in the KB-29P was in approximately the same location as where the tail gunner would sit in a conventional B-29. A large hemispherical Plexiglas bubble provided a generous view of the refueling operation. The boom was mounted beneath the operator which made the job of effecting a contact more difficult. Subsequent aircraft would be configured with the boom mounted above the operator so that he could more accurately sight down the boom.

Boeing developed the rigid flying boom system to improve on the hose and drogue in-flight refueling (IFR) system. The boom, mounted at the aft-most portion of the KB-29P, was fitted with two small wings that allowed the boom operator to maneuver the boom. The pilot of the receiver aircraft, guided by the boom operator and light signals on the tanker belly, flew behind and below the tanker for refueling. Once in position, the boom operator “flew” the boom into the refueling receptacle, and the KB-29P flight engineer began fuel transfer.

The flying boom system became the most common method for IFR and was used on KB-50s and KC-97s. It is still used on the USAF’s modern tankers — the KC-135 and KC-10.

Source:

Image Source:

May 10, 2009 Posted by | 1950s, Boom Operator, KB-29 | , | 1 Comment

KB-29P Refueling a RB-45C

A KB-29P from the 91st Air Refueling Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., puts Strategic Air Command's long reach into practice by refueling an RB-45C of the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. ( U.S. Air Force photo) Click on image to enlarge.

A KB-29P from the 91st Air Refueling Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., puts Strategic Air Command's long reach into practice by refueling an RB-45C of the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. ( U.S. Air Force photo) Click on image to enlarge.

Image Source:

May 10, 2009 Posted by | 1950s, B-45, External View, KB-29 | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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