KC-135Q

SR-71 RSO recalls when a KC-135Q Stratotanker flew unprotected into Northern Laos to save his Blackbird after it had a Double-Engine Flameout

SR-71 RSO recalls when a KC-135Q Stratotanker flew unprotected into Northern Laos to save his Blackbird after it had a Double-Engine Flameout

The SR-71 Blackbird The SR-71, the most advanced member of the Blackbird family that included the A-12 and YF-12, was… Read More

2 weeks ago

“The left afterburner technique” and SR-71 special problems: here’s what made Blackbird air refueling challenging

The KC-135Q tanker It’s impossible to overemphasise the essential role played by the KC-135Q tanker crews, without whom successful prosecution of the SR-71… Read More

2 months ago

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

The KC-135Q It’s impossible to overemphasise the essential role played by the KC-135Q tanker crews, without whom successful prosecution of… Read More

5 months ago

KC-135A Crew Chief recalls when his Stratotanker had to purge its tanks of the JP-4 to load JP-7 to refuel an SR-71 Blackbird (No KC-135Q was available)

The SR-71 Blackbird Mach 3+ spy plane could be refueled by standard Stratotankers in the event KC-135Qs were not available.… Read More

10 months ago

Not only JP-7: the SR-71 could use JP-4 and JP-5 as emergency fuels but they both limited the Blackbird top speed to Mach 1.5

The SR-71 Blackbird was the first aircraft to use its own fuel for hydraulic fluid. It was called the fuel… Read More

10 months ago

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

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

12 months ago

“The left afterburner technique” and all the special problems that made SR-71 Blackbird air refueling challenging

The SR-71, needed to be refueled approximately every hour. Refueling was tricky, but Blackbird pilots were always up to 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

2 years ago

SR-71 RSO tells the story of the KC-135Q Stratotanker that flew unprotected into Northern Laos to save his Blackbird after it had a Double-Engine Flameout

‘We zipped through the target area with no problems and began the start descent checklist. As Jim pulled the throttle… 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

The story of the SR-71 Blackbird that pitched up and collided with a KC-135Q tanker during an air refueling over El Paso

When his SR-71 pitched up and slammed into a KC-135Q tanker at 26,000 feet, Blackbird RSO Maj. Mortimer J. Jarvis… 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

The Story of the SR-71 that diverted to Taiwan (Using a KC-135 Call Sign) while returning to Kadena from Blackbird Programme’s first ever Combat Mission

The sight of the SR-71 caused considerable confusion in Ching Chuan Kang tower, particularly when one controller asked for the… Read More

4 years ago

Former SR-71 Pilot Explains why the Blackbird had to Light one Afterburner during Aerial Refueling

“The fine art of pulling the throttle ever so slightly up and just into the minimum burner range was handed… Read More

4 years ago

Cool Video (with Audio) Features SR-71 Mach 3 Spy Plane rendezvous with KC-135Q Tanker

The clip features a quick, practice contact in "tanker manual" configuration followed by a disconnect, in preparation for a normal… Read More

4 years ago

Lieutenant Colonel Ben Bowles, first SR-71 pilot to reach 900 hours, has passed away

Lieutenant Colonel Ben Bowles was awarded the Air Medal and two Distinguished Flying Crosses one of which for saving SR-71… Read More

5 years ago

The unknown story of the SR-71 aircrew that bailed out after their Blackbird struck the tail of a KC-135Q during an air refuelling over El Paso

“The nose section was gone just forward of the cockpit and the canopy had caved in on me. I thought,… Read More

5 years ago