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 | 4 Comments

C-130 Refueling Two F-35 Lightning IIs

Two F-35s refuel from a C-130 tanker on 18 January 2013.

Two F-35s refuel from a C-130 tanker on 18 January 2013.

Image Source:

http://gizmodo.com/5978112/twin-f35-fighters-suckling-on-the-sweet-milk-of-freedom

January 23, 2013 Posted by | 2010s, C-130, External View, F-35, Probe/Drogue | Leave a comment

F-16XL Air Refueling Pictures

Here are some pictures of an F-16XL refueling from a KC-135. These pictures are quite rare and it took me a very long time to track them down.

F-16XL Behind a KC-135.

F-16XL refueling from a KC-135.

F-16XL refueling from a KC-135.

F-16XL refueling from a KC-135.

Image Sources:

http://kr.blog.yahoo.com/shinecommerce/6901.html?p=1&t=3
http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/gallery/Photo/F-16XL2/HTML/EC96-43811-2.html

April 23, 2011 Posted by | 1990s, Boom Pod View, External View, F-16XL, KC-135R | , | 2 Comments

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

YC-15 Inflight Refueling

Special thanks to Scott Mahew for bringing these great pictures to my attention. These are very rare pictures of a McDonnell Douglas YC-15 being refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker. The YC-15 was McDonnell Douglas‘ entrant into the U.S. Air Force‘s Advanced Medium STOL Transport (AMST) competition, to replace the C-130 Hercules as the USAF’s standard STOL tactical transport. In the end neither the YC-15 norBoeing YC-14 was ordered into production, although the YC-15’s basic design would be used to form the successful C-17 Globemaster III.

McDonnell Douglas YC-15 in the pre-contact position behind a KC-135 Stratotanker.

McDonnell Douglas YC-15 in the pre-contact position behind a KC-135 Stratotanker.

A McDonnell Douglas YC-15 approaches the contact position behind a KC-135 Stratotanker.

A McDonnell Douglas YC-15 approaches the contact position behind a KC-135 Stratotanker.

A McDonnell Douglas YC-15 approaches the contact position behind a KC-135 Stratotanker.

YC-15 in contact with a KC-135.

Image Source:

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ko&tl=en&u=http://kr.blog.yahoo.com/shinecommerce/27383.html%3Fp%3D1%26pm%3Dl%26tc%3D66%26tt%3D1296879711

February 26, 2011 Posted by | 1970s, Boom Pod View, External View, KC-135, KC-135A, YC-15 | , | Leave a comment

KA-6D of VA-145 Refueling an EA-6B of VAQ-137

Here is a picture I took some thirty years ago while deployed to the Indian Ocean on USS Ranger CV61 as a member of Attack Squadron One Four Five. We had a strength of 10 “Es” and 5 of the “Ks”. I do believe that the 80-81 cruise was the last for the KA-6D. The S-3s started to carry buddy stores and drops for the job after this.
BTW the Prowler is from VAQ 137.
Regards,
Glenn M. Cassel
AMH1(AW)
US Navy
Retired

Image Source: Glenn M. Cassel

January 8, 2011 Posted by | 1980s, A-6, E/A-6B, External View, Probe/Drogue | , | 1 Comment

KC-97G 52-2718

KC-97G

A KC-97G refuels a F-4 Phantom. The high deck angle of the F-4 is indicative of the low refueling speed.

During Operation Creek Party (out of Rhain MAin AB). The Recon Rhino shows the tailcode of Zweibrücken Air Base, Germany. RF-4C 68-0556 was w/o 8 June 1983 while based at RAF Alconbury U.K. The 126 ARS operated KC-97F from August 1961 and the KC-97L from March 1965. They went to KC-135A in December 1977.

Image Source:

Kevin Kearney

November 5, 2010 Posted by | 1960s, External View, F-4, KC-97 | , | 3 Comments

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.

Video Source:

http://www.youtube.com/user/oisiaa

October 10, 2010 Posted by | 1960s, B-52, Boom Operator, Boom Pod View, External View, KC-135A | , | Leave a comment

B-47 refueling from KC-97L

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.

Video Source:

http://www.youtube.com/user/oisiaa

October 10, 2010 Posted by | 1950s, B-47, Boom Operator, Boom Pod View, External View, History, KC-97, Receiver View | , , | 1 Comment

Experimenting with jet refueling – Multiple F-84 refueling configurations

By the late 1940s and early 1950s, air refueling had been around in an experimental capacity for nearly 30 years. With the end of the Second World War and the inception of the Cold War, air refueling was seen as a vital technology that had to be further developed so that fuel hungry jet aircraft would have the range and endurance required to perform their required missions. The F-84 Thunderjet existed during this time of air refueling development and refinement; therefore it saw numerous configurations that included multiple drogue and receptacle variants. One of the more interesting configurations tested was a dual probe system that required the F-84 to refuel each of its wingtip mounted tanks with a separate probe that was integral to each tank. This highly offset design made it difficult for the receiver pilot to accurately make contact with the tanker’s drogue. The distance from aircraft centerline meant that the pilot would have to look sideways to align the probe with the drogue. During this time he would have to use his peripheral vision to fly formation off of the tanker. Complicating matters was the fact that any roll would be magnified at the wingtip.

Another drogue refueling method employed by later model F-84s was a single point refueling probe. The probe was located on the left side of the forward fuselage. This positioning made it much easier for the pilot to see the probe while still being able to fly formation off of the tanker. This design has proved to be the best positioning for refueling probes, and aircraft today still feature their probes in a similar position with respect to the pilot.

A third refueling system that can be found on the F-84 is a boom receptacle installed on the upper surface of the left wing. This design allowed an equipped F-84 to receive fuel from a boom tanker. The boom method of refueling lowered the receiver pilot’s workload because all he had to do was fly into the air refueling envelope after which the tanker’s boom operator could precisely place the nozzle into the receptacle. The rigid flying boom also provides a certain amount of stability (especially to small and lightweight aircraft like the F-84) between the two aircraft by resisting forward and aft motion. The receiver aircraft is still free to move for and aft in the envelope, but must first exceed pressure relief valves in the boom’s retract mechanism.

Dual Wingtip Tank Refueling

An F-84 aligning with the drogue. Notice how far off center the pilot must look to line up the probe with the basket. Any turbulence would make this essentially impossible.

F-84 on the basket.

An F-84 refueling its right wingtip tank. Unknown cause of fuel spray, likely slosh from tank vent.

Refueling the left tank from the second probe.

F-84 refueling from KB-29

KB-29 refueling F-84E over Korea in 1952

Single Point Probe

F-84 with single point drogue refueling taking fuel from a KC-135.

Boom and Receptacle

A receptacle equipped RF-84 pulls into the contact position behind a KB-29P

F-84 in contact with a KB-29P

High over West Texas, two F-84Gs of the 31st Fighter Escort Wing pull in behind a waiting KB-29P during Operation Fox Peter One. Note the opened receptacle on the upper surface of the left wing.

A F-84 taking fuel from a KC-97G using the boom and receptacle method of refueling.

An F-84 banks off to the right after refueling from a KC-97. Note the opened receptacle and drop tanks.

An excellent image of an F-84 pulling up behind a KB-29P. The KB-29P was the only tanker to have the boom operator situated above the boom. It was found difficult to align the boom from this position.

F-84 Refueling from KC-97

August 24, 2010 Posted by | 1950s, 1960s, Boom Pod View, External View, F-84, General, History, KB-29, KC-135, KC-135A, KC-97, RF-84 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment