KC-135 Stratotanker

The day Boeing test pilot Alvin “Tex” Johnston Barrel Rolled the prototype of the Boeing 707

The day Boeing test pilot Alvin “Tex” Johnston Barrel Rolled the prototype of the Boeing 707

Boeing Company President William Allen asked “Tex” Johnston: “What the hell were you doing?” He replied “I was selling airplanes.”… Read More

1 year ago

USAF grounds entire fleets of KC-135 tankers, RC-135 reconnaissance planes, and WC-135 “nuke sniffers” to replace faulty tail pins

The inspections should take just 30 minutes and even before the order was issued, at least 90 KC-135s had already… Read More

1 year ago

KC-135 pilot explains how he and his crew safely landed a Stratotanker after it experienced a fire in the cargo compartment while Flying 200+ miles west of Hawaii

“Looking into the cargo compartment through the open cockpit door, one Crew Chief with a fire bottle between his knees,… Read More

1 year ago

KC-135 saves the day: Stratotanker crew refuels B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber in emergency situation after long-range test mission

The weather conditions were poor due to a nearby storm, but the KC-135 crew was able to extend the boom… Read More

1 year ago

KC-135 navigator tells the story of when his Stratotanker towed a badly damaged F-111 Fighter Bomber through the skies of North Vietnam back to Thailand

The KC-135 Stratotanker crew verified the location of the distressed F-111 Aardvark and headed north until the two aircraft were… Read More

1 year ago

USAF KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft draws ‘sky penis’ near Syria’s Tartus — Russia’s naval facility in the Mediterranean

A USAF KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling plane crew pulled off a ballsy maneuver near Moscow’s base in Syria in the… Read More

1 year ago

That time a KC-135Q crew flew through a thunderstorm with their Stratotanker’s throttles frozen to refuel an SR-71 Blackbird

Because of the KC-135Q Stratotanker crews an SR-71 Blackbird never ran out of gas. It’s impossible to overemphasise the essential… Read More

1 year ago

Two KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft have set a new endurance mission record of 72 hours demonstrating multi-day tanker mission generation capabilities

The previous record for a KC-135 Stratotanker endurance mission was 40 hours. Two KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft simultaneously conducted 72-hour single-aircraft… Read More

1 year ago

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh announcer tells the story of when a NASA SR-71B Blackbird had an almost catastrophic fuel leak on a mission to perform a flyby at EAA Oshkosh

The cause of the fuel leak was a failed fuel pump and thankfully the SR-71B Blackbird pilot didn’t go into… Read More

1 year ago

The story of the USAF KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft that exploded after a failed pressure test

The photos in this post show the result of failed pressure test on a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. On modern aircraft,… Read More

2 years ago

DARPA looks to leverage laser-equipped KC-46 and KC-135 tankers to recharge drones wirelessly

The benefits of having drones recharge their batteries in mid-air include extended range and having small energy storage capacities. The… Read More

2 years ago

Blackbird Pilot explains why the SR-71 had to refuel right after takeoff (and it’s not because it leaked fuel)

The KC-135Q Stratotanker The KC-135Q was a variant of the iconic KC-135 Stratotanker modified to carry JP-7 fuel necessary for… Read More

2 years ago

SR-71 pilot tells the story of when a KC-135Q crew flew through a thunderstorm with their tanker’s throttles frozen to refuel his Blackbird

No story on the SR-71 Blackbird would be complete without an understanding and appreciation of just how valuable the KC-135Q… Read More

2 years ago

Fairchild sets record with 20 KC-135 Stratotanker minimum interval take-off (MITO) departure

The process of getting a single KC-135 into the air is complex and takes a multitude of professional Airmen working… Read More

2 years ago

USAF F-102 pilot tells the story of when he was left alone in the cockpit of a KC-135 flying from the US to Okinawa

‘So … there I was, the only pilot in the cockpit and I have never piloted a KC-135 before!,’ Roger… Read More

2 years ago