Air Refueling Archive

Huge Collection of Air Refueling Pictures

KB-29 Pilot Director Lights

The pilot director light (often referred to as PDLs or PDIs [Pilot Director Indicators]) are seen here swung out from the belly of a KB-29.

Here is an interesting image showing the pilot director lights of the Boeing KB-29. In this image, the director light panel has been swung out from under the belly of the aircraft, presumably for maintenance. The director lights illuminate to give the receiver aircraft’s pilot information on his position in the air refueling envelope. One set of lights indicates his forward-aft position and the other set indicates the up-down position. All subsequent tanker aircraft including the KB-97, KC-135, KC-10, and now KC-30 and KC-46A include a similar arrangement of pilot director lights.

August 8, 2012 - Posted by | 1940s, 1950s, KB-29 |


  1. the pilot director lights were mounted on the bomb bay doors which were usually open for preflight to check the nylon fuel tanks in both front & aft bomb bays which explains why the doors were open.

    Comment by dale brainerd | March 25, 2013 | Reply

    • I never see it mentioned anywhere but we refueled the F-84G’s that sampled the cloud from the Operation Ivy blast on 11-1-52. Task force We were the 307th ARS later to become the 27th ARS. Dale Brainerd

      Comment by dale brainerd | April 10, 2013 | Reply

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