Monday, October 03, 2011

A Visit to Eielson AFB

Today we got up bright and early (figuratively speaking, because it was still dark outside) and went on over to Eielson Air Force Base to meet Pete, one of Tom's church members, who works on KC-135 tankers for the 168th Air Refueling Wing. He got us into their shop and we gave one of their aircraft a thorough inspection, climbing under, into and on top of the aircraft. Many pics will follow--I promise. In the meantime, however, here's a little video Tom shot of the maintenance crew cycling the landing gear on the tanker as it sits up on jacks in the hangar. That's 130,000lbs. of aircraft sitting on six jacks.

Gotta love those KC-135 aircraft. Built between 1957 and 1963, they're still flying missions and performing as front-line tankers today. Talk about us taxpayers getting our money's worth.

We also got to see some F-16 fighters flying around, but alas, photography was prohibited out on the flight line so you'll just have to use your imagination on those. Suffice it to say, they were spectacularly loud, and the one guy in the flight who kept his aircraft in afterburner a fair bit longer than the others on each take-off got to be the predictable favorite after a few hops. He no doubt burned hundreds of extra pounds of fuel but he amused us so I suppose that it was worth it.

I have many good shots of this aircraft, both inside and out, but that'll have to wait until I get back to the Lair, assuming of course that Murphy hasn't destroyed the place in my absence.


  1. dang, you get to do ALL the kool stuff.
    Can't wait to see the rest of the pics.

  2. Ah yes, lawn darts and good old 135's! And drop checks suck rocks... Hopefully that GPU didn't drop the load, otherwise they'd have lost hydraulic pressure and it would have dumped to the emergency system, which would mean you had to start ALL over again (and the damn things are NOISY!!!

    Did you go to Pike's yet?

  3. I watch that landing gear cycle and think how much mass/weight is involved. Wow. Great video.

  4. What kx59 said! I'll be over in the corner kicking rocks now (I did fly the boom on one of those back when dinosaurs roamed the earth).