Air Refueling Archive

Huge Collection of Air Refueling Pictures

Boeing 747 refueling SR-71 Blackbird

Here is what must have been a rare event; a 747 tanker refueling a SR-71 Blackbird. I don’t know much information about 747 tankers. If anybody has information about 747 tankers I would love to hear from you. I would especially be interested in photographs of the boom operator’s compartment, controls, and panel.

Boeing 747 tanker refueling a SR-71 Blackbird

Boeing 747 tanker refueling a SR-71 Blackbird


January 29, 2013 - Posted by | 1970s, 747 Tanker, External View, SR-71


  1. On 10/22/68  KC-135A #61-301A out of Westover crashed on approach to CCK AFB,Taiwan, apparently from either pilot error or mechanical problems I am very interested in any details that may be available, as two members of my squadron (99th OMS) as well as the flight crew were killed. I was aboard   acft #498 that landed  minutes earlier, and have always wondered about the accident and the accident report. Thanx.

    Comment by dylan.langreder | January 29, 2013 | Reply

  2. 747 Tanker. I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Vic Ellis, retired CMSgt. He was the lead boom operator in the Iranian Tanker program. I have no pictures, but Vic told me the pod in the Iranian 747 was the same/similar as the KC135. Same boom as well. It’s hard to be sure, but the picture looks like a KC 135 boom.

    Comment by Lee W. | September 7, 2013 | Reply

    • You are correct, it is as close to a KC135 pod and boom as it gets. Vic definitly felt at home in this air frame, those were the days..

      Comment by Tom Ellis | June 30, 2014 | Reply

  3. This photo is one of several tests of the prototype. It was tested on various receiver aircraft. It was based on the KC-135 boom. I would not think that any actual refueling was taking place. The reason I say that is because the SR-71 used a unique fuel and had to have it own fleet of committed refuelers. Just a quess.

    Comment by Dan Hart | September 10, 2015 | Reply

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