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Tag: KC-135 Stratotanker

The Story of North Star, the KC-135 Stratotanker that Saved an F-4 Phantom over the Atlantic
The KC-135 Stratotanker North Star had its landing gear down and its engines at idling speed in an attempt to slow down enough to match the F-4 Phantom’s speed and perform a midair tow. Ron Craft, a KC-135 Stratotanker crew member who was stationed at Loring Air Force Base (AFB) from 1981...
Remembering Shell 77, the KC-135 tanker that crashed in Kyrgyzstan while it was departing for combat aerial refueling mission
Shell 77 crew encountered a condition they had not realistically experienced in training, which left them with an unrecognized hazardous situation that was difficult to overcome. On May 3, 2013, a KC-135R, call sign Shell 77, crashed in the foothills of mountains located six miles south of Chaldovar, Kyrgyz Republic. The...
The Palomares Broken Arrow Accident
The B-52’s incoming speed was too fast and caused the aircraft to collide with the KC-135’s fueling boom. Major Larry G. Messinger, one of the bomber co-pilots, recalled, “All of a sudden, all hell seemed to break loose.” The U.S. military uses the term “Broken Arrow” to refer to an accident that involves...
Boeing's KC-46A program completes receiver certification testing for B-52, F/A-18
Trials to refuel the F-15 will soon commence Boeing’s KC-46A aerial refueling tanker has been cleared to refuel the B-52 bomber and F/A-18. Trials to refuel the F-15 will soon commence. While the additional receiver certifications aren’t needed for the company to make its first delivery of the tanker to the U.S. Air Force (USAF), a Boeing spokesperson says they are in...
USAF to receive first KC-46A Pegasus tanker in October
USAF Secretary Heather Wilson says the late certification by the Federal Aviation Administration was the direct cause for KC-46 latest delay Bloomberg has revealed that the delivery of the first KC-46 refueling tanker by Boeing to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) on Oct. 27 will not be happening. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson says the late certification by the Federal Aviation...
USAF to receive first KC-46A Pegasus tanker in October
All 18 KC-46A aircraft will be handed over to the USAF by April next year Under Secretary of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Matthew Donovan says Boeing will start delivering the KC-46A aerial tanker to his service this October. According Reuters all 18 aircraft will be handed over to the user by April next year. Donovan added that “while the KC-46A...
USAF says laser weapon integration on KC-135 is “still in the infancy stage”
“The next phase: Does that make sense, does it make sense to put a pod on there, or do you want to go complete and do a system integration of a laser itself?,” Tom Lockhart, director of U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation Office Tom Lockhart, the director of U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Strategic Development...
That time a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft exploded after a failed pressure test
The outflow valves which are used to regulate the pressure of the KC-135 were capped off during a 5 year overhaul and never opened back up The impressive photos in this post show the result of failed pressure test on a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. "This is an example of what happens when we do not pay attention to detail, and do...
100th ARW deploys KC-135 Stratotanker to Greece for first time
The KC-135 Stratotanker landing at the Athens International Airport in Greece was the first time landing at an international airport for all the pilots aboard the aircraft On Oct. 26, 2017, a U.S. Air Force (USAF) KC-135 Stratotanker and Hellenic Air Force (HAF) F-16s participated in an air to air refueling training mission over the Mediterranean Sea. As told by Airman...
61-year-old KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft refuels newest USAF fighters
No matter how deadly, the F-35 couldn’t go anywhere or complete any mission without regular fuel-ups from the gas-station-in-the-sky KC-135 Stratotanker Fairchild Air Force Base (AFB) KC-135 Stratotanker was hard at work refueling six of the U.S. Air Force’s latest fifth-generation fighters, the F-35A Lightning II, over the Pacific Northwest on Oct. 17, 2017. As explained by Senior Airman Janelle Patiño,...

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