So because OldAFSarge put up this great post on aerial refueling, I figured I could dust off an older post that I did a few years back when I got to get up close and personal with an Air Force tanker.
Back in 2011, a good friend arranged it so that he, I and his kids could drop in at Eilson AFB outside of Fairbanks, Alaska where we got to see this wonderful 1963-vintage KC-135. For those of you not in the know, that's a tanker based on the Boeing 707 airframe. It gives gas to other aircraft in the air.
This one's up on jacks for landing gear work. It weighs 115,000lbs empty.
Here's that bit again. Cycling the gear five times to make sure it works right.
The business end of an aerial tanker.
Or the view that one or two readers might be more familiar with:
Now THAT is an engine. The KC-135 has four, but can remain flying on JUST ONE.
The cockpit. Note the newer glass display panels. The old Flight Engineer position has been eliminated as well.
People often forget the "C" in KC-135. They haul cargo, too. Here's the cargo hold.
Always take pride in who you are and what you do.
Back in the boom control cockpit. The boom operator works these controls while lying on his stomach on a special bench or couch.
A bit more complicated than your average self-serve pump.
Looking back from out on the wing.
It was an excellent opportunity to see one of these classic workhorses up close, and my only regret was that they would not let me take it for a hop or two around the pattern.
Special thanks to the 168th Air Refueling Wing.