Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Night Refuel

From the Usual USAF Source...

An F-22 refuels before strike operations against ISIS in Syria, Sept. 26, 2014. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Russ Scalf

I'm beginning to wish I had been a boom operator in my past life.


  1. I know a guy who was a boom operator...
    ...just saw him last weekend.
    We didn't get to talk much.
    We have a certain sadness in common.

  2. What an amazing photograph - to say nothing of the manoeuver.

  3. A buddy was a boomer in the gulf war and he flew quite a few missions around Baghdad. He said the Iraqis were taking-off and going to Iran as fast as they could. By the time the F-15's got there, it was just a tail chase.

    So they put the tanker NE of the city, and put four F-15's with them, and they orbited till the fuel ran out. Now when the Iraqis took off, the F-15's could shoot 'em in the face and they would have a bad day...

    KC-135's were a bad deal in the old turbo-jet days (-A models). They needed water injection and a lot of runway. We used to hear them 5 miles away on take-off run at the hotel in Riyadh, and then they flew right over the city smoking and screaming. They always took off after prayer call, as the people were already supposedly up.

    The new R models are just like your Caddy...

    1. KC-135's were a bad deal in the old turbo-jet days (-A models).

      So mebbe it's a good thing that I WASN'T a boomer then, eh? I'm pretty sure the AF didn't begin re-engineing the -135s until after I retired in 1985. I checked The Wiki to see when the -135Rs came on line, but no joy there. The Wiki does have some interesting comparative stats between the Rs and the early models where noise, take-off roll, etc. are concerned.

  4. Used to watch them takeoff at U-Tapao. They would stagger up to about a thousand feet and then nose over with an almost audible sigh and gain some useful airspeed. Never wanted to fly on one.

  5. Just a note to say the tanker in the photo is a KC-10... This knowledge and $1 USD will get you a cup of coffee...

  6. @ Skip: I feel for both your friend and yourself. The brand of sadness you're experiencing is almost beyond my ken.

    @ Anne: Agreed on both points.

    @ Flugelman: I've never seen a -135 take off, which might be a good thing.

    @ Anon: Thanks for that!

  7. Buck/

    My AFROTC "summer camp" (1965) in between my Jr & Sr year was held at a KC-135/C-130 SAC base in Columbus, Ohio. (LockbourneAFB) One of our demo rides was in a KC-135 which refueled a B-52 over Presque Isle, Maine. (Out of Loring?)Talk about a spectacular view from the boomer's bay! The emerald island in a sea of blue spread out beneath the VERY "Upclose & Personal" Bongo! A great show!


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