Air Refueling Archive

Huge Collection of Air Refueling Pictures

US Navy P-3 Orion Aerial Refueling Testing with USAF KC-135

The following photos and narrative were provided by Billy Meeks, a former flight test boom operator at Edwards AFB.

P-3 proximity tests. The Navy wanted to demo it , we wanted to demo it, and everyone wondered why an airplane that could fly 23 hours could possibly want more fuel. A bunch of photos showing various az/el deflections at short, mid and long boom lengths. All were planned test points and the boom operator directed the receiver to the coordinates where the FTE and aerial photog recorded the event. “Receiver” pilot offered comments. A few flights and several hours to complete. Hope didn’t bore.

P-3 Orion Aerial Refueling Testing KC-135 boom receptacle Edwards AFB Flight Test (2)

P-3 Orion Aerial Refueling Testing KC-135 boom receptacle Edwards AFB Flight Test

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P-3 Orion Aerial Refueling Testing KC-135 drogue Edwards AFB Flight Test (24)

Navy P-3 testing with the KC-135 boom to drogue adapter.

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February 19, 2018 Posted by | 1970s, Boom Pod View, KC-135, KC-135A, P-3, US Navy | Leave a comment

US Navy C-2 Greyhound refueling trials

The following photos and narrative were provided by Billy Meeks, a former flight test boom operator at Edwards AFB.

PROPELLERS. After developing a friendship with the NAVY Flight Test crowd it seemed like they developed a taste for compatibility testing. After the P3 they brought their C2 over for some prox work. We guessed they were using it as a surrogate for their E2. Initially, two Grumman test pilots flew the tests. Unfortunately neither of them were familiar with air refueling by our method. Two Navy test pilots assumed the duties. The tests were rather straight forward and unremarkable. Compatibility was assured. We watched the propellers constantly as in a normal refueling position the drogue appeared to be — at times— very near the propeller arc. However, manageable. Then.. came the night evaluate we had insisted on. We have the guy in the precontact for a period so we could all get our situational awareness spun up. I brought him forward and stopped him at 10 feet to evaluate that. Then on to the contact position. As he was maneuvering around while in contact, with the “S” in the hose, it became obvious if the drogue were to be released while forward it could, and likely would, penetrate the propeller arc. I requested he disconnect and fly the precontact. I turned on the light looked at Jimmy and he at me for a long moment and his look confirmed my thoughts.l terminated the test. In debrief I stated that the operation posed an unacceptable risk and I would recommend the practice not be continued. The Navy guy stated that he had hoped we would make that recommendation. No further action.

Navy C-2 Greyhound Air Refueling KC-135 Drogue (3)Navy C-2 Greyhound Air Refueling KC-135 Drogue (4)Navy C-2 Greyhound Air Refueling KC-135 Drogue (2)Navy C-2 Greyhound Air Refueling KC-135 Drogue (1)

February 19, 2018 Posted by | 1970s, Boom Pod View, C-2 Greyhound, History, US Navy | Leave a comment

Mirage IV Refueling

March 16, 2014 Posted by | 1970s, Boom Pod View, KC-135, Probe/Drogue | 2 Comments

KC-97 Video Tour

November 29, 2013 Posted by | 1950s, 1960s, Boom Operator, Boom Pod View, KC-97 | 3 Comments

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

KC-135 refueling a B-52 carrying a D-21 Drone

This would have been a very interesting receiver to refuel. A B-52 sits in the contact position while carrying a D-21 drone under it’s left wing.

A B-52 carrying a D-21 reconnaissance drone and rocket booster.

A B-52 carrying a D-21 reconnaissance drone and rocket booster.

Image Source:

Offline – http://roadrunnersinternationale.com/d-21/D-21_historial.html

January 29, 2013 Posted by | 1960s, B-52, Boom Pod View, D-21 Drone | Leave a comment

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

January 29, 2013 Posted by | 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, A-12, Boom Pod View, KC-10, KC-135, KC-135Q, SR-71 | 4 Comments

F-104 Refueling

A F-104C refuels from a boom to drogue adapter (BDA) equipped KC-135 Stratotanker

A F-104C refuels from a boom to drogue adapter (BDA) equipped KC-135 Stratotanker

Image Source:

http://elpoderdelasgalaxias.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/lockheed-f-104c-starfighter-the-always-thirsty-missile-2/

December 9, 2012 Posted by | 1960s, Boom Pod View, F-104, KC-135A, Probe/Drogue | 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