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

Air Refueling Close Call – E-3 Sentry

This is a very scary situation between a NATO E-3 Sentry and a KC-135. The boom operator couldn’t even get out a breakaway call. Makes you wonder what happens when there isn’t a camera filming.

Video Source:

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

October 22, 2012 Posted by | 2000s, Breakaway, E-3, KC-135R | Leave a comment

F/A-18E Buddy Refueling

This isn’t something you see every day from the boom pod; a pair of F/A-18Es buddy refueling.

F/A-18E Buddy Refueling

F/A-18E Buddy Refueling

February 5, 2012 Posted by | 2000s, Boom Pod View, F-18, KC-135R, Probe/Drogue | Leave a comment

S-3 Viking Refueling From Boom To Drogue Adapter (BDA)

Here is a rare look at a Lockheed S-3 Viking refueling from a KC-135 Boom to Drogue Adapter.

S-3 Viking Refueling from KC-135 Boom Drogue Adapter (BDA)

S-3 Viking Refueling from KC-135 Boom Drogue Adapter (BDA)

S-3 Viking Refueling from KC-135 Boom Drogue Adapter (BDA)

Image Source:

Don Killian

February 5, 2012 Posted by | 2000s, Boom Pod View, KC-135R, Probe/Drogue, S-3 | Leave a comment

Wind tunnel testing of Actively Stabilized Drogue Refueling System

This is a scaled model wind tunnel testing of Actively Stabilized Drogue Refueling System (ASDRS) concept for Automated Aerial Refueling (AAR). This work is performed by UAV Lab at Western Michigan University. Created in response to a request by the US Navy.

 

Video Source:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5akXsbpju4

 

 

August 19, 2011 Posted by | 2000s, Probe/Drogue | | Leave a comment

V-22 Osprey Refueling from KC-135 Boom to Drogue Adapter (BDA)

These are pictures that I have been in search of for a very long time and I think they might be the new crown jewels of my collection. I was very excited when I finally was able to get copies of them.

Here are pictures of the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey refueling from a KC-135 boom to drogue adapter (BDA). These pictures were taken during flight testing and as of the date of this post the V-22 is not included in the ATP-56(B) refueling manual and therefore is not allowed to be refueled.

The boom to drogue adapter replaces the fuel nozzle on the tip of the boom and is attached to a 10′ internally stiffened hose that terminates in a conical drogue. The drogue and hose are not retracted inside the boom and therefore always hang out from the end of the boom. This unusual configuration often draws the attention of other aircraft and ground controllers when KC-135s operate from civilian airfields. During use, the boom is fully extended to 20 feet so that the fuel pressure in the boom does not cause it to extend.

V-22 Ground Refueling Test With a KC-135 Boom to Drogue Adapter.

V-22 Ground Refueling Test With a KC-135 Boom to Drogue Adapter.

V-22 Approaching Pre-Contact Behind A KC-135.

V-22 In Contact With KC-135 Boom to Drogue Adapter.

V-22 Flight Test Refueling With KC-135 Boom to Drogue Adapter.

V-22 in contact with a KC-135.

April 23, 2011 Posted by | 2000s, Boom Pod View, External View, KC-135R, Probe/Drogue, V-22 | , , | Leave a comment

Huge sparks during Air Refueling

A common question that I receive is what happens if there is a spark during Air Refueling; will we blow up? I think this video dramatically puts to rest any notion that there is a risk of explosion if there is a spark. The two aircraft in this video are a KC-135 and an E-4B. As the two aircraft fly through the air they pick up electrical charge at different rates. This difference is equalized by the spark that jumps between the two aircraft. It is difficult to tell from the video, but it looks like these sparks are 3-5 feet long and jumping between the tanker’s  nozzle and the receiver. The dielectric breakdown of air is approximately 3 million volts per meter which suggests that there is something like 3-6 million volts difference between the aircraft.

Video Source:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVzpV3V_V3U

December 26, 2010 Posted by | 2000s, Boom Operator, Boom Pod View, E-4B, KC-135R | , , , | Leave a comment

Royal Singapore Air Force KC-135R Stratotanker

Video detailing the Royal Singapore Air Force’s KC-135R Stratotanker and its mission. View in HD.

Video Source:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awjSG5P4_wY

November 25, 2010 Posted by | 2000s, KC-135R | , | Leave a comment

Low level refueling formation – Altus AFB, Oklahoma

This is a very impressive video of a C-17 holding the pre-contact position behind a KC-135 followed by  an aggressive break over a crowd.

Video Source:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5h-8XQL1b8

November 25, 2010 Posted by | 2000s, C-17, KC-135R | , | Leave a comment

S-3 Viking Refueling from KC-10

S-3 Viking refueling from KC-10

S-3 Viking refueling from a KC-10's centerline drogue.

S-3 Viking refueling from KC-10

S-3 Viking refueling from a KC-10's centerline drogue.

Image Source:

Ken Moeser

November 25, 2010 Posted by | 2000s, KC-10, S-3 | Leave a comment