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One of the rarer, more bizarre, and historic airplanes in the C-135 series. This is KC-135T 55-3121 in the Cobra Jaw configuration...[/img]

Thanks for sharing, we really should start a seperate RC-135 section, to many nice pics, configurations and stories around!!

Isn't 982 being used for spares? I haven't found any reference to it, nor seen any photos

Believe it's still "on order", so for the moment it's still sitting @ Lackland..

Daniël

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And one more for fun... 101 Filo, Türk Hava Kuuvetleri operates a total of seven KC-135Rs from Incirlik AB in southern Turkey. And yes, they really do use Arial for all the lettering and numbers! Gotta love computer controlled stencil cutters :)

KC-135R_TurkishAF.jpg

Edited by Jennings
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Yet another new "foreign" KC-135 user - the Fuerza Aérea de Chile. They've received two KC-135Es, of which 981 (57-1501) is the first. It is assigned to Grupo de Aviación Nº 10 based in the north of Chile in support of the F-16s.

KC-135E_FAC_981.jpg

I worked on that plane as a crew chief when it carried markings of the 134th ARW, Tennessee ANG. Still trying to dig up some photos I may or may not have of her in those markings. That was in my 35mm print days!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gents,

A few fairly routine shots in sub-zero temperatures at Mildenhall yesterday afternoon. The 100th ARW is celebrating 20 years as a Air Refuelling Wing at RAF Mildenhall since it formed and replaced the permanent TDY from stateside units. There was even a piece in the local press who usually avoid military coverage like the plague!

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Gary

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These two may be of interest to some. The very FIRST Tanker to wear the "Shamu" dark cammo paint scheme. The ramp and paint hangar are at OC-ALC the Depot at Tiner AFB.

TankerCamoPaintinPaintshop.jpg

TankerCamoPaintTaxiOutcropped.jpg

Edited by majortomski
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Actually Andy; The KC-135 'is not a version of the 707!!!

The "Dash Eighty" was first flown on 15 July 1954, and was a prototype flight-refueling tanker/transport built as a private venture of Boeing's!! After extensive service testing had confirmed that this tanker could be of vital importance to the USAF, it was ordered in large numbers under the designation KC-135.

Later on; with USAF 'approval' to develop a basically similar transport, the Dash Eighty was called into use again as a prototype of the civil version, destined to become the 707. So the KC-135 gave birth to the 707, not the other way around. I suppose I'm a little picky that way being as I was a Boom on that bird for 22 years, minus 4 on the kC-10s 6 at the Schoolhouse.

The 135 is smaller than the 707

135= length 136'10", Height 41' 61/2", Span 130'10" Wing Area 2,433 Sq. Feet

707= length 152'9", Height 42' 5", Span 145'9", Wing Area 3,050 Sq. Feet

I suppose a lot of folks make the mistake.

CMSgt. Louis USAF Retired

Edited by sacmankc135
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Casey 01, PACAF 01, Trout 89; pick a call sign! The placard explains it all!

I originally saw her at Edwards in one piece back in 2005/06 (still looking for a pic!), then saw her being assembled on the Medina Annex of Lackland AFB in Feb 09 (see page 4 of the Voodoo thread), and finally saw her put together today.

Apparently they use it for training new enlisted aviators. We never had anything other than a classroom when I went through Medina, but they have consolidated a bunch of the training there since I went through.

Mark

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One odd little event in this plane's life, New Year's Eve of 88 or 89 some one at Hickam tried to sabotage her. They walked though the hangar and punched open one of the fuel draining valves.

The dock chief smelled the jet fuel and foun the plane parked in a big reflecting pool of fuel. He grounded himself then walked into the pool to pull out a fire extinguisher. He turned to the shop office between the two hangars and saw flames in the reflecton off the shop window. Didn't hera a whooof or nothing. The sprinklers poped on, the alarm went off the cops out on the ramp called it in and by the time the fire trucks got there all that was burning was what was left in the expansion cracks in the floor.

The whole plane was covered in black soot. It put some wrinkles in the forward body but that was all. Didn't even burn the tires. We let it fly for 6 weeks till we got the skins to replace them at Tinker.

In another hangar at Hickam I saw a CLSS crating up the last USAF T-33's to ship to an Asian country. The crates cost more than we were selling the T birds for.

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These two may be of interest to some. The very FIRST Tanker to wear the "Shamu" dark cammo paint scheme. The ramp and paint hangar are at OC-ALC the Depot at Tiner AFB.

Major, those are interesting. What year would that have been? Are the AMT directions correct of 36118 over 16473? I'd seen other sources that said 36081 on top (which looks right to me), never was sure about the lighter color, though.

Thanks,

Jonah

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Gator, the paint drawing, that I signed as the system engineer, says 36081 gray, the darker one. It faids quickly that's why all think its 36118 gray.

Also note that the bottom should be GLOSS ADC Gray 16473. Note the MLG reflected on the bottom of the wing tip in the ramp picture. The SAC management's one limitation was that our cammo paint couldn't be seen from the reciever postion. Has something to do with forcing the aircrews to requalify if we changed the image of the bottom of the plane.

While we were doing this the BUFF guys where also doing a wraparound it had both 081 and 118 on the lower surfaces. I beleve when they ended up they left off one of them.

Edited by majortomski
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There is an aside on the name of the dark tanker camo scheme. The KC-10's were repainted first and the "shamoo" name actually stuck on them, i.e. big killer whale. Around Tinker the -135 scheme was called "Flipper" gray cammo but smaller ;-)

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Major, those are interesting. What year would that have been?

It was 1987. I remember seeing a pic on the cover of Air Force Times while standing in line at the commissary at Ft. Meade and almost losing my lunch. God that was a hideous thing to do to a beautiful airplane. Glad it didn't last very long, although I can't say that the current bo-RING overall grey is much better. Give me glossy ADC Grey with full size, full color markings any day of the week!

:)

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You should have heard the screams from the ANG bases about the dark gray paint scheme! The Phang club (Phoenix ANG) actually filed a major safety complaint that the planes were getting too hot to fly in under the dessert summer sun.

So I did a study. Parked an ADC gray and a dark gray tanker side by side over the weekend on the south ramp at Tinker, each equipped with a five channel digital recording thermometer(really expensive high tech stuff for the 80's. Revealed several interesting items; First both planes maxed out at around 130F on a 90F sunny day. The day evolved into having those big white fluffy clouds floating over head, so you had periods of solid sun then a short period of bright shade. The interesting reveal was that the dark tanker did hit the max temp about 30 minutes faster than the ADC gray bird. BUT dark colors also act as effective radiators. You could watch the dark gray plane cool off by 5-8 degrees as a cloud floated over. Then after sunset the dark bird actually got COOLER than ambient temp.

Net result the dark scheme stayed.

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Why the dark scheme in the first place?

In the mid 80's we were going to fight WW-III over the Fulda Gap in Germany. The dark grays were chosen specifically to visiually hide tankers refueling low-level (>1000 AGL, trying to hide on radar) over the pine forests of Germany and Europe.

Then again it made them stick out like beacons against a concrete gray ramp!

This also had to do with the initial deployment of the F-117. The result of not really understanding what stealth does for you in a war. Let's fly the tanker down low so the bad guy doesn't know we're refueling a plane he can't see. The someons said, "Just fly normal mid altitude refueling tracks, the radar sees "normal" refuelings and doesn't see stealth refuelings. Just tankers flying in circles waiting for recievers.

Stealth did a lot of mind bending when it came out.

Edited by majortomski
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In the mid 80's we were going to fight WW-III over the Fulda Gap in Germany. The dark grays were chosen specifically to visiually hide tankers refueling low-level (>1000 AGL, trying to hide on radar) over the pine forests of Germany and Europe.

Did they really plan on using tankers like this? Can't imagine trying to refuel from a KC-135 down that low, during combat conditions.

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I actually reviewed and rejected a flight test plan to demonstrate F-16 refuel at 300 feet AGL. The sad point in the planning was the solution to all the problems was "F-16 deploys speed breaks and reduces throttle to back away." They couldn't answer my one question; What is the procedure when all four engines on the -135 are fodded and flamed out by a flock of birds?

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Yet another one-off. Possibly the snazziest looking '135 ever IMHO. 61-0316 was outfitted as the ABNCP for U.S. Strike Command (STRICOM), based at MacDill AFB, Florida, circa 1969. Strike Command evolved into Readiness Command in 1972, eventually becoming what we know today as US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Aside from the main wing structure (less the leading edge), the entire airplane was glossy white, including the boom and the ruddevators. And that flashy lighting bolt, well that was something else! Interestingly there were no safety outlines on any of the doors, and from what I can see in photos, and contrary to all convention, no unpainted static port areas! The aircraft burned out on the ramp at Cairo West Air Base, Egypt on 19 March 1985. It has been described as a "VC-135A", but that was never official.

KC-135A_61-0316_STRICOMlores.jpg

Edited by Jennings
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Jennings you have to stop scraping open my healed wounds!

We did a survey of oddball -135 paintschemes just to have them documented, don't remember catching this scheme in that survey.

But...by the time it burned -0316 was 8AF CC's "staff" bird and it had been painted externally to look like a plain ole buck tanker. However, the interior was another story. That was back in the days of the KC-135E conversion program when the USAF was buying old 707's for parts. One of the donor 707s came from the (I believe) Drexler Oil company. It had a custom $1.1 Million interior, that somehow under the graces of CinC SAC found its way into -0316. Inlaid ornate wood trim in the wainscoating from nose to tail. Etched smoke glass room dividers (with oilfield images) and a multi-blue hue sunburst pattern carpet that ran from nose to tail.

The aircraft actually burned at Cairo EAST=THE Cairo International Airport! Not on a military ramp.And in full view of the passengers in the terminal. There was even a story that a bus load of Japanese tourists drove around the wreckage snapping photo's all the way. The mishap investigation team moved the damaged airframe to the Egyptian military side of the airport on the east side of the runway. At the time there was a USAF MAC detatchment that supported the US embasy on that side of the field.

I went with a CLSS team a week after the accident investigation to salvage what we could. A week after that we loaded the engines, struts, landing gear, tail feathers, outboard wings and all the avioinics into a C-5 and brought them back to Tinker. The rest of the plane was scrapped in place by the Egyptians. The US embasy had to make it clear that the company removing the plane had to actually take the rest of the plane away. Many Egyptians were bidding on the 3 tons of wood shoreing we left under the plane when we took out the gear. They didn't want the aluminum, just the wood.

I'll hunt for my slides of the operation tonight.

The fork and spoon I've been using for lunch at work for the last 23 years are from -0316s galley!

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Edited by majortomski
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Wow! That's cool stuff! Every single thing you read (including the online accident reports) says Cairo West. I'd kill to have a set of that silverware :)

Tks for posting!

J

PS: Here's a shot by Lindsay Peacock taken at FRA in 1969. It's his copyright, but he's posted it online before.

KC-135A_61-0316_Peacock.jpg

Edited by Jennings
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Wow! That's cool stuff! Every single thing you read (including the online accident reports) says Cairo West. I'd kill to have a set of that silverware :)

Tks for posting!

J

That is truly a pretty bird.

Speaking of KC-135 accident reports, does anyone have info on a possible KC-135 crash while taking off from Westover AFB (in Western Mass) back in the early 60's? While reading up on the history of the base, I found a one paragraph newspaper article about a tanker that crashed on take-off while attempting a trans-atlantic speed record. The other aircraft in the flight flew over the burning wreckage (which was strewn across the Mass Turnpike). I've found nothing else on this crash.

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