Air Refueling Archive

Huge Collection of Air Refueling Pictures

Air Refueling the A-12 and SR-71 Blackbird

Here are a bunch of pictures of aerial refueling with the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and A-12 Oxcart. Feel free to leave comments below about your experiences and as always, please email me your pictures at the email address listed to the right. KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird

SR-71A #61-7952 during the first ever in-flight  refuelling of an SR-71, on 29April1965.  Lockheed photo via Tony Landis

SR-71A #61-7952 during the first ever in-flight refuelling of an SR-71, on 29April1965. Lockheed photo via Tony Landis

KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird

KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird at sunset.

KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird at sunset.

KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird KC-135 refuels SR-71 KC-10 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird

ca. 1991, NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards Air Force Base, California, USA --- NASA's triple-sonic SR-71B experimental reconnaisance jet flies up to the refueling probe from an aerial tanker near Edwards Air Force Base, California.  1991. --- Image by © CORBIS

ca. 1991, NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards Air Force Base, California, USA — NASA’s triple-sonic SR-71B experimental reconnaisance jet flies up to the refueling probe from an aerial tanker near Edwards Air Force Base, California. 1991. — Image by © CORBIS

KC-135 refueling M-21 with GTD-21 Drone.

KC-135 refueling M-21 with GTD-21 Drone.

KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird

Close up view from the Boom Pod while refueling a SR-71 Blackbird.

Close up view from the Boom Pod while refueling a SR-71 Blackbird.

Post AR with an SR-71.

Post AR with an SR-71.

KC-135 Refueling A-12 Oxcart

A left side view of an SR-71 aircraft moving toward a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft for inflight refueling.  The SR-71 is from the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing.

A left side view of an SR-71 aircraft moving toward a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft for inflight refueling. The SR-71 is from the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing.

KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird

Lockheed SR-71 in flight refueling. SR-71A (S/N 61-7952) refuels from KC-135A (S/N 58-0094). (U.S. Air Force photo)

Lockheed SR-71 in flight refueling. SR-71A (S/N 61-7952) refuels from KC-135A (S/N 58-0094). (U.S. Air Force photo)

KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird KC-135 Refueling SR-71 Blackbird

 

Image Source:

Various
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January 29, 2013 - Posted by | 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, A-12, Boom Pod View, KC-10, KC-135, KC-135Q, SR-71

3 Comments »

  1. My father Wayne Edwards was a boom operator in the 60’s until 1971. We were based at Beale Air force base from 1967-71, When dad retired. But he was assigned to the SR 71. He was very proud of his involvement, and so are we. Sadly dad died in 2009. We choose to use a picture he had of him in a KC 135 refueling the Blackbird, on his headstone, it is beautiful. Thank you for allowing me to tell you a piece of who he was, he was my hero.

    Comment by Rebecca | August 8, 2015 | Reply

    • I’m sorry to hear about your dad’s passing, but having that on his headstone must look great!

      Comment by Boom | August 8, 2015 | Reply

  2. First let me extend my condolences to the Edwards family. I knew him well at Beale AFB.

    I spent eight years at Beale flying in KC-135-Q’s. I saw my first A-12 behind our Tanker in mid-1964. It was like something out of Buck Rogers Science fiction. Early on the “Q” tanker guys were looked down on. We were excused from Alert Duty, wouldn’t tell anyone what we were doing and “got” to go TDY a lot! Until mid-1968 or so, we were the exclusive aerial refueling support for the A-12/SR-71/YF-12 aircraft. The 903rd ARS had the only ” full-Q” tankers. Later Little Rock and McCoy were modified and became “partial-Q’s”, lacking some navigational aids.

    During the Test/Eval period we refueled the Blackbirds out of Groom Lake and Edwards AFB at many different altitudes and speeds. After going “down hill” in KC-97’s to go fast enough for B-52’s we had to “down hill” for the Blackbird as it got heavier and needed more speed.

    I later returned to Beale for another four years in the 9th ARW in the Aircraft Maintenance field.

    It was my experience that the tanker fleet didn’t always get the credit they earned, however speak to some of the “Recievers” about the value of the “Gas Station” at 26000 feet, usually they were happy to see us, especially 3000 miles from the nearest runway.

    V//R

    Col. (Ret.) William L. Spacy, USAF

    Comment by William L. Spacy Col. Ret. USAF | September 18, 2015 | Reply


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