The KC-30A features a remote vision system consisting of 3D cameras and panoramic cameras. The operator wears polarized glasses in order to see the 3D screen. An advanced user interface provides the operator with all information in an easy to understand format.
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.
Boom Memorial Names
|7-Jul-51||TSGT HENRY H. HILL|
|7-Jul-51||1LT JACK W. KERN|
|7-Jul-51||CPL REGINALD F. RUSSELL|
|7-Jul-51||SSGT SCOTT L. WALLACE|
|10-Jul-53||SGT WALTER F. OLSEN|
|26-Dec-56||TSGT THURMAN RANIER|
|10-Jan-57||TSGT EDWARD C. CLEMONS|
|10-Jan-57||SSGT MICHAEL B. MCINTOSH|
|2-Feb-57||MSGT LAWRENCE M. GRIGORY|
|2-Feb-57||A2C ARTHUR B. KOSIER|
|2-Feb-57||A3C FRANKLIN D. SCHWEIGERT|
|13-Mar-57||A2C ROBERT E. CRAIG|
|13-Mar-57||A2C BILLY B. ROSE|
|8-May-57||SSGT THOMAS E. O’CONNOR|
|8-May-57||A3C DONALD E. COSPER|
|13-Aug-58||A2C FRANCIS C. HERMANCE, JR.|
|13-Aug-58||SSGT NORBERT T. KNULTY|
|22-Jan-59||A2C IGNACIO W. SANCHEZ|
|22-Jan-59||TSGT WAYNE M. SOUDER|
|4-Aug-59||A2C THOMAS M. PAYTON|
|18-Oct-60||SSGT HARDIN A. BAILEY|
|18-Oct-60||A2C THOMAS J. LANE|
|18-Oct-60||A3C MICHAEL W. MILLER|
|5-Mar-61||SSGT HAROLD D. MEEUSEN|
|5-Mar-61||A2C CLIFTON C. TABOR|
|8-Jan-62||A2C PAUL M. CLAWSON|
|8-Jan-62||A2C CARLTON A. LINK|
|8-Jan-62||SSGT BILLIE D. MOORE|
|9-Feb-62||A1C GUY L. POWELL|
|9-Feb-62||A2C RALPH E. REUTZEL|
|20-Dec-62||SSGT ROBERT T. CRAIG|
|20-Dec-62||SSGT JAMES R. HAYES|
|13-Aug-64||SSGT WALTER B. HICKMAN, JR.|
|13-Aug-64||SSGT CAREY A. LIVINGSTON|
|9-Nov-51||SGT JAMES A. MAINS|
|27-Jun-54||A1C DAVID ARAMBULA|
|27-Jun-54||SSGT ROBERT O. GONZALES|
|27-Jun-54||SSGT VINCENT PROVENZANO|
|23-Feb-55||SSGT ROBERT E. ROSENCRANCE|
|23-Feb-55||A2C CHARLES J. SITFA|
|4-May-55||A1C MARVIN R. DEVRIES|
|4-May-55||A1C JOSEPH L. PRIDGEN|
|13-Jul-55||SSGT GEORGE R. MIGNOSA|
|13-Jul-55||SSGT MARVIN F. RUSK|
|25-Apr-56||SSGT DONALD S. DELPRIORE|
|25-Apr-56||A2C JURI E. JOONAS|
|25-Apr-56||SSGT KENNETH E. VANPATTON|
|26-Jun-56||TSGT BARDEL A. CRUM|
|26-Jun-56||SSGT ROBERT L. WALLACE|
|6-Jul-56||A2C WILLIAM L. FALCONER|
|22-Jan-57||SSGT JOEL V. BLACKWELL|
|22-Jan-57||SSGT RAYMOND E. NOAH|
|18-Jul-57||SSGT JACKIE J. JAMERSON|
|29-Oct-57||TSGT RONALD E. RUBLE|
|12-Nov-58||MSGT CURTIS W. KING|
|12-Nov-58||A2C JOHN M. SCSERBAK|
|22-Jul-59||TSGT JAKE SCHMIDT|
|30-Mar-60||SSGT SHIRLEY D. RENNER|
|27-Jun-60||TSGT ROBERT P. COSTELLO|
|28-Feb-61||SSGT ERNEST J. LEMOINE|
|5-Nov-64||SSGT GERALD W. SHULTZ|
|19-Dec-64||TSGT JAMES R. BILL|
|27-Jun-58||MSGT DONALD H. GABBARD|
|25-Nov-58||TSGT RONALD L. CHAMPION|
|31-Mar-59||TSGT HERMAN A. CLARK|
|15-Oct-59||SSGT PAUL R. THOMASSON|
|3-Feb-60||SSGT GEORGE W. SHORT|
|9-May-62||SSGT WALLACE R. ADAMS|
|10-Sep-62||TSGT JOHN L. DUNCAN|
|10-Sep-62||TSGT KENNETH A. QUINN|
|27-Feb-63||TSGT DANIEL C. CAMERON|
|21-Jun-63||MSGT DANIEL F. DONAHUE|
|28-Aug-63||MSGT CARL H. BURRIS|
|28-Aug-63||TSGT RAY L. FISH|
|8-Jul-64||SSGT ROBERT L. GRAVES|
|4-Jan-65||SSGT JIMMY TARDIE|
|16-Jan-65||SSGT REGINALD R. WENT|
|26-Feb-65||MSGT CAREY W. ADDISON JR.|
|3-Jun-65||TSGT LESTER M. ALLSOP|
|17-Jan-66||MSGT LLOYD POTOLICCHIO|
|17-May-66||TSGT HARRY L. ALEXANDER|
|19-May-66||SSGT CHARLES E. STUART|
|19-Jan-67||MSGT ORVILLE MONTGOMERY|
|17-Jan-68||TSGT CHARLES C. CHAPLIN|
|30-Jul-68||SGT CHARLES A. OLVIS JR.|
|30-Jul-68||SSGT HURSCHEL D. PRIDDY|
|2-Oct-68||TSGT EARL B. ESTEP JR.|
|22-Oct-68||SMSGT HOWARD B. BENGE|
|19-Dec-69||SMSGT HOWARD G. BENFORD|
|3-Jun-71||SSGT RICHARD D. ROUSHER|
|13-Jun-71||TSGT HUBERT MILES JR.|
|13-Mar-72||SGT BRUCE J. KLAVERKAMP|
|25-Mar-75||SMSGT JACKIE V. EGBERT|
|7-Dec-75||SGT DAVID M. WANDEL|
|6-Feb-76||SSGT LLOYD D. BAKER|
|26-Sep-76||TSGT GARY L. CARLSON|
|19-Sep-79||SMSGT ALBERT L. EVANS|
|13-Mar-82||TSGT DONALD J. PLOUGH|
|19-Mar-82||MSGT RICHARD A. CROME|
|27-Aug-85||TSGT CLAUDE F. ARDEN|
|27-Aug-85||SSGT DESIREE LOY|
|17-Jun-86||SSGT QUINN L. DEWITT|
|13-Mar-87||SSGT RODNEY S. ERKS|
|13-Mar-87||SMSGT PAUL W. HAMILTON|
|11-Oct-88||A1C ROBERT L. PARHAM|
|20-Nov-88||MSGT JAMES L. BORLAND|
|31-Jan-89||CAPT ROBERT LEWELLYN|
|31-Jan-89||SSGT DAVID VICKERS|
|20-Sep-89||MSGT CHERYL HELGERMAN|
|20-Sep-89||MSGT WILLIAM J. MALICO|
|4-Oct-89||A1C JACK D. CUPP|
|19-Nov-97||MSGT ROBERT “TUG” MCGRAW|
|13-Jan-99||TSGT RICHARD D. VISINTAINER|
|ADDED SINCE BOOM MEMORIAL DEDICATION|
|27-Aug-56||A1C WILLIAM R. DENNIE Jr.|
|27-Aug-56||A3C RICHARD A. RIDLON|
|ADDED SINCE BOOM MEMORIAL DEDICATION|
|8-Apr-54||A2C FREDERICK L. MARSHALL|
|8-Apr-54||A2C WAYNE D. WHITSELL|
Great documentary about Air Refueling that aired on the Military Channel.
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.
This is a nice refueling scene from the classic movie “A Gathering of Eagles”. During the refueling a fuel manifold bursts open in the cockpit of the B-52 and an emergency breakaway is executed. All electrical equipment is shut off and the aircraft is forced to perform a high speed flaps up landing resulting in hot brakes.
This is the refueling scene from the movie “Strategic Air Command”. In this scene a B-47 is refueled from a KC-97L. The KC-97L is easily identified by the addition of two J-47 turbojet engines under the wings outboard of the R-4360 radials. The J-47s gave the KC-97 a higher top speed which allowed it to refuel the new breed of high speed jet powered aircraft. The KC-97L was a stopgap measure until the KC-135A Stratotanker came online.
Unfortunately this wonderful video has been removed from YouTube.
Here is a video tour of the exterior and interior of a KC-97L at the AMC Museum at Dover AFB, DE. If you visit the youtube page directly you can watch the video in high definition.