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 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

Boom Operator Memorial – Altus AFB, OK

Click for a 50 Megapixel image

This memorial is a lasting tribute to those who gave the last full measure of devotion that freedom might survive lost in the steadfast performance of duty they, their crews, and families have the gratitude of an eternally thankful nation. It is with solemn pride and a heavy heart that we acknowledge these who have laid so costly an offering upon the altar of freedom and ensured we shall never forget their sacrifice.

Boom Memorial Names

KB-29 SUPERFORTRESS
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
KB-50 SUPERFORTRESS
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
KC-97 STRATOFREIGHTER
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
KC-135 SRATOTANKER
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
KC-97 STRATOFREIGHTER
27-Aug-56 A1C WILLIAM R. DENNIE Jr.
27-Aug-56 A3C RICHARD A. RIDLON
ADDED SINCE BOOM MEMORIAL DEDICATION
KB-29 SUPERFORTRESS
8-Apr-54 A2C FREDERICK L. MARSHALL
8-Apr-54 A2C WAYNE D. WHITSELL

June 11, 2011 Posted by | 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, Boom Operator, KB-29, kb-50, KC-10, KC-135, KC-135A, KC-135E, KC-135Q, KC-135R, KC-97 | 5 Comments

KC-135: History of Destroyed Aircraft

If anybody has information on these crashes, please use the comments below as a forum to add your inputs.

Below is a table that shows all destroyed -135 aircraft. The list includes KC-135, RC-135, and EC-135 aircraft. Even a brief look at this listing shows that flying the KC-135 and similar aircraft was anything but safe. Since the R model conversion the safety record has been on par with that of any modern airliner.

Date Tail Number KC-135 Model Base Summary of Events
27-Jun-58 56-3599 A Westover Heavy weight on takeoff, crashed one mile beyond runway
24-Nov-58 56-3598 A Loring Crosswind takeoff, lost No. 4 engine, lost control
21-Mar-59 58-0002 A Bergstrom Flew through thunderstorm, experienced structural failure
22-Jun-59 57-1446 A Walker Main fuel tank explosion on ramp (maintenance)
15-Oct-59 57-1513 A Columbus In-flight collision with B-52
3-Feb-60 56-3628 A Walker Gusty wind during takeoff, lost control, went off runway and crashed into 57-1449 and 57-1457 on ramp and a hanger, all three burned
3-Feb-60 57-1449 A Walker
3-Feb-60 57-1457 A Walker
8-Mar-60 57-1466 A Carswell Fog, aircraft landed on nm short, hit a power line and a building
18-Nov-60 56-3605 A Loring Hard landing, broke nose gear off, caused fuel fire
25-Jan-62 56-3657 A Altus Starter explosion during engine start, caused fuel fire
9-May-62 56-3613 A Loring Heavy weight takeoff, No. 2 engine failed, crashed 2500 feet beyond end of runway
8-Aug-62 55-3144 A Wright-Patterson Landed 2700 feet short of runway
10-Sep-62 60-0352 A Ellsworth Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) at Mt. Kit Carson near Fairchild AFB, WA
23-Oct-62 62-4136 B McGuire Landed 1000 feet short of runway in right bank at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
27-Feb-63 56-3597 A Castle Lost No. 1 engine during takeoff at Eielson, low visibility, night time
21-Jun-63 57-1498 A Westover Controlled flight into terrain; struck 790-foot hill, 5 nm short and 1 nm left of runway
28-Aug-63 61-0319 A Homestead In-flight collision with another KC-135 (Tail No. 61-0322) over Atlantic Ocean
28-Aug-63 61-0322 A Homestead In-flight collision with another KC-135 (Tail No. 61-0319) over Atlantic Ocean
11-May-64 60-0332 B Travis Hit a tower, 3500 feet short of runway, in heavy rain
8-Jul-64 60-0340 A Larson In-flight collision with F-105 during aerial refueling
4-Jan-65 61-0265 A Loring Lost No. 3 and No. 4 engines during takeoff, crashed 12,000 feet past runway
16-Jan-65 57-1442 A Clinton-Sherman Suspected hard-over rudder at Wichita
26-Feb-65 63-8882 A Dow In-flight collision with B-47, clear weather, over North Atlantic
3-Jun-65 63-8042 A Walker Controlled flight into terrain on low approach, in blowing sand storm
25-Jun-65 60-0373 A McGuire Controlled flight into terrain, night takeoff at El Toro, hit hills four miles beyond runway
17-Jan-66 61-0273 A Seymour Johnson In-flight collision with a B-52. Famous loss of nuclear weapons of Spanish coast.
17-May-66 57-1424 A Amarillo Wind rock during landing, lost control
19-May-66 57-1444 A Kadena Crashed during takeoff, performance problem, possibly windshear
19-Jan-67 56-3616 A Fairchild Controlled flight into terrain; hit Shadow Mountain during landing to base
19-Apr-67 55-3140 A Castle Destroyed during maintenance at Wake Island, right main gear failure
17-Jul-67 58-1465 R (rec) Offutt Stalled during takeoff, high rotation, in clear weather
17-Jan-68 58-0026 A March Crashed during takeoff in poor weather at Minot
30-Jul-68 56-3655 A Castle Structural failure during Dutch roll demonstration
24-Sep-68 55-3133 A Loring Three-engine go-around, forgot speed brakes, landed short
2-Oct-68 55-3138 A Robins Takeoff aborted after nose tires blew, went off runway at U-Tapoa
22-Oct-68 61-0301 A Westover Controlled flight into terrain; contact lost near CCK Taiwan
13-Jan-69 59-1491 RC/S Eielson Landing; lost control on icy runway in snow, at night
25-Mar-69 56-3602 A Loring Takeoff; aborted after S-1 following loss of water injection, broke apart
5-Jun-69 62-4137 RC/E Eielson Unknown cause; in-flight vibration reported, lost contact
19-Dec-69 56-3629 A Ellsworth Structural failure; lost contact, CCK Taiwan
3-Jun-71 58-0039 Q Torrejon Crashed following in-flight explosion of the nr. 1 main fuel tank. Chafing of boost pump wires in conduits was determined to be as a possible ignition source.
31 June 1971 61-0331 B Wright-Patterson Cause unknown; lost over Pacific Ocean
13-Mar-72 58-0048 A Carswell landed short; steep, idle approach
1-Jul-72 63-8473 F French AF Takeoff; lost No. 3 engine initially, then No. 4 later
8-Mar-73 63-7989 A Lockbourne Collided with another KC-135 (Tail No. 63-7980) during alert exercise
5-Mar-74 57-1500 A McConnell Crashed on takeoff; applied wrong rudder
8-Dec-75 60-0354 A Eielson Extreme cold weather; gear problem, stalled
6-Feb-76 60-0368 A K.I. Sawyer Crashed during approach into Torrejon
26-Sep-76 61-0296 A K.I. Sawyer Crashed near Alpena, Michigan
4-Mar-77 62-3522 A Griffiss Engine fire during maintenance
29-Apr-77 58-0101 A Castle Hit cattle on runway during touch-and-go at Beale
14-Sep-77 62-3536 EC/K Kirtland Controlled flight into terrain; after takeoff, hit mountain
19-Sep-79 58-0127 A Castle Flight instructor simulated engine failure on runway, lost control
30-Jan-80 58-0007 EC/P Langley Burned on ramp during heating of water
8-Feb-80 60-0338 Q Plattsburg Burned on ramp; aft body fire during refueling
15-Mar-81 61-2664 RC/S Eielson Landed short at Shemya, sheared off landing gear
6-May-81 61-0328 EC/N Wright-Patterson Runaway trim, rapidly lost altitude, Maryland
13-Mar-82 57-1489 A Arizona ANG In-flight collision with light aircraft during approach
19-Mar-82 58-0031 A Illinois ANG Exploded at 13,500 feet on approach to O’Hare
25-Feb-85 55-3121 RC/T Offutt Controlled flight into terrain; struck mountain near Valdez, Alaska during approach
19-Mar-85 61-0316 A Barksdale Burned on ramp in Cairo during refueling
27-Aug-85 59-1443 A Castle Hard landing, engine fire, stalled in turn
17-Jun-86 63-7983 A Grissom Hit the runway at Howard AB Panama, became airborne again and crashed into a hill in the jungle.
13-FEB-87 60-0330 A Altus Landed on the runway at altus afb on fire, cause was an arc in the fuel vapor area due to a compromised coax from the HF radio, aircraft subsequently burned to the ground in the infield after it rolled off the runway
13-Mar-87 60-0361 A Fairchild Airshow practice, hit wake turbulence, lost control
11-Oct-88 60-0317 A Wurtsmith Crashed on landing
31-Jan-89 63-7990 A K.I. Sawyer High crosswind, performance loss, lost control
21-Sep-89 57-1481 E Eielson Burned on ramp at Eielson
4-Oct-89 56-3592 A Loring In-flight explosion (aft body tank) during approach
11-Jan-90 59-1494 E Pease Burned on ramp at Pease
29-May-92 62-3584 EC/C Eielson On landing; ran off end of runway at Pope
10-Dec-93 57-1470 R Wisconsin ANG Burned on ramp; center wing explosion
13-Jan-99 59-1452 E Washington ANG Runaway trim in flare, nose up, stalled
26-Sep-06 63-8886 R Fairchild Struck on runway by departing aircraft at Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan.
3-May-13 63-8877 R McConnell In-flight breakup over Kyrgyzstan due to malfunctioning rudder power control unit.

June 4, 2009 Posted by | 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, KC-135, KC-135A, KC-135Q, KC-135R | , , | 339 Comments

Lockheed U-2 Refueling

A Lockheed U-2F refueling from a Boeing KC-135Q

A Lockheed U-2F refueling from a Boeing KC-135Q

In May 1961, in a little-known attempt to extend the U-2’s already considerable range, Lockheed modified six CIA U-2s and several USAF U-2s with aerial refueling equipment which allowed the aircraft to receive fuel from either the Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker or from the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker. This extended the aircraft’s range from approximately 4,000 to 8,000 nautical miles (7,400 to 15,000 km) and extended its endurance to more than 14 hours. The J57-powered U-2Bs were re-designated U-2E and the J75-powered U-2Cs were redesignated U-2F. Although the modified U-2s were capable of flying for over 14 hours this took little account of pilot fatigue, and although an additional oxygen cylinder was installed on these aircraft little use was made of this capability. One aircraft was both air-refueling- and carrier-capable and was the only U-2H.

Source:

Image Source:

May 10, 2009 Posted by | 1960s, External View, KC-135Q, U-2 | , | Leave a comment