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Boeing KC-135A 'Stratotanker'

Description
Notes: C-135A equipped with flying boom for aerial refueling. May be used as a cargo/troop transport (4 CREW, 80 PASSENGERS) .
  Manufacturer:Boeing
  Base model:C-135
  Designation:KC-135
  Version:A
  Nickname:Stratotanker
  Designation System:U.S. Air Force
  Designation Period:1925-1962
  Basic role:Transport
  Modified Mission:Tanker

Specifications
  Length: 136' 3" 41.5 m
  Height:38' 4" 11.6 m
  Wingspan: 130' 10" 39.8 m
  Empty Weight: 109,000 lb 49,433 kg
  Gross Weight: 297,000 lb134,693 kg

Propulsion
  No. of Engines: 4
  Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney J57-P-59W
  Thrust (each):13,750 lb 6,235 kg

Performance
  Range: 4,000 miles 6,441 km
  Cruise Speed: 552 mph 888 km/h 480 kt
  Max Speed: 600 mph 966 km/h 522 kt
  Ceiling: 40,000 ft 12,191 m

Known serial numbers
55-3118 / 55-3146, 56-3591 / 56-3658, 57-1418 / 57-1514, 57-2589 / 57-2609, 58-0001 / 58-0130, 58-0131 / 58-0157 , 59-1443 / 59-1523 , 60-0313 / 60-0368 , 60-0397 / 60-0408 , 61-0261 / 61-0325 , 62-3497 / 62-3580 , 63-7976 / 63-8045 , 63-8871 / 63-8888 , 64-14828 / 64-14840

Examples of this type may be found at
MuseumCityState
Castle Air MuseumAtwaterCalifornia
Dyess Linear Air ParkDyess AFBTexas
March Field Air MuseumRiversideCalifornia
Scott AFBScott AFBIllinois

KC-135A on display

Castle Air Museum

March Field Museum
   


 

Recent comments by our visitors
 Robert Nelson
 Reno, NV
I was a KC-135 Crew Chief from 1970 to 1974 stationed at March AFB, Ca. in the 22nd OMS. I spent more time away from my home base than the length of my assignment. I was TDY to Kadena Okinawa, Utapao Thailand, Torrejon Spain, Mildenhall England, Andersen, Guam and Eilison Alaska. I also sent quite a bit of time on alert duty at Ellsworth, SD, and March AFB. I crewed 3 different tankers. 61-0323, 63-8019, and 63-8017. After leaving SAC, I was staioned at Rhein-Main AB where I was in a en-route squadron taking care of C-141s and C-5As. I eventually was assigned to Maintenance Control in the 435th TAW. Two years ago I was at the Reno Air Races where they had a KC-135 on static display and I was able to take a good look at the upgrades that had been done over the years. No more water burner engines, a much better APU and avionics.
I really enjoyed my days as a tanker crew chief and think of them fondly.
05/24/2013 @ 12:24 [ref: 67834]
 Tom
 , VA
Lloyd, in the address block change the 135a to 135q, and then you will be on the Q model page, and have a better chance of finding old buddies.
01/03/2013 @ 13:03 [ref: 67470]
 lloyd gillespie
 ponte vedra fl, FL
Iwas the crew chief of 59-1523 from 1966to 1970 at beale afb it was know as kc-135q .I make this plane and a great flight crew from 903th to make it the best plane in 15af for 4 years running and i have the paper that say it . yes we refueled sr71 and 52 and fighter.I wood give my left arm to see it .I'm proud to be the crew chief of that a/c .I left af and join grumman and was plane capt of f-14 for 31years and retired after 37years.anybody from beale afb from that time please email thank you
12/20/2012 @ 03:32 [ref: 67430]
 mike swick
 Wiesbden, AK
Crewed tankers at Fairchild, Wright Patt, Kincheloe and March 1970-78- lots of hours in flying gas station- will always remember water takeoffs at Guam on super hot days praying for more runway
04/23/2012 @ 00:19 [ref: 56417]
 Donald Walker
 Pensacola, FL
I was one of the first Baby Boomers back during the end of the vietnam war 1972. In basic tranning I signed up for anything flying and had no idea what a inflight refueler was, more that that I didn't know aircraft could be refueled in air. 100 recuites when in for the medical flight check and 6 of us come out. Three refuelers and three B-52 gunners. ( that was my second choice ). First I was sent to water training in south Florida , that was great then up to washington state for land. Got put in a box for a day the size of a suite case and then throwned in a camp over night with a few hundred others. Then out in the woods for a few days of camping and dieting. Then Castle Air Force Base in Calif. for four months.After seven months of training I arrived at my base for the next three and a half years, MINOT NORTH DATOTA. We heard that southern boys went north and northern boys went south. I think that was true. On November 1, 1972 I was in South East Asia refueling F-4s and F-105s in the largest thunder storm I ever saw. The other tanker never showed so I had a total of 34 fighters that day. For six hours I stayed in the boom pod refueling one after the other. Some time during all the refueling one of the F-4 flamed out and lost power just as it was about to hook up. I made the connection barely and stopping him from running me over. He took on about 3000 pounds and re-started his engines and went back to his base. O'h by the way the just so happened to be the first time I ever refueled without an instructer at my side. This TTY was for three months and was a trip of a lifetime. All was fun and games until the first B-52 was shot down in Dec. 1972 and things changed. No more flashing pictures at each other during refueling and we all had our helments on. I went back to the states in Feb 1973 and returned in April, by then alot had changed. I traveled all over the world , Spain, England, Alaska, japan, Guam and many others. Every Time a TTY was up to leave Minot North Dakota, I raised my hand. I flew maybe 100 different KC-135s and Only one tryed to kill me twice. 0157 was the tail number out of Barksdale, La. I lost two engines in South East Asia and had my hand on the bailout bar, I told my pilot if one of the other two even burps I was out of there. Thats when the rest of the crew put on there parachutes and helments. The following year in Aug. 1974 we were taking off in Merdrid Spain in 115 heat and we got 0157 again that day. Cars had to stop on the freeway to let us go by we were so low. The pilot had to make several hard turns just to stay away from hitting buildings. I saw that plane when we arrived and told the crew this is not good, not good at all, and it came true that day. We made it with no room to spare and refueled two F-4s painted sand color a first for us. Over the three and a half years flying the KC-135, most was boring hours of just flying or standing alert for days on end. I did meet some of the best people on this earth that you trusted with your life and they trusted their with yours. I traveled the world and meet so many people outside of the service was well as in, refueled the first F-15 over Alaska and racked up over 1750 flight hours. Not bad for a 23 years old.
01/20/2012 @ 08:53 [ref: 52178]
 The Liberty Bell
 Philadelphia, PA
Hu Jintao is a communist pig!

China's communist domination of the eastern region will come to an end. Communism will fall across the world at last.

The chinese people will be freed and the dreams of Chiang will be realized.

Communist China must die!Communist China must die!Communist China must die!Communist Communist China must die!Communist China must die!Communist China must die!Communist China must die!Communist China must die!
09/03/2011 @ 06:33 [ref: 48452]
 joe Chiovari
 , FL
Joe, I took a ride on one of those "Trash Hauler" C-130s from Andersen AFB to Palau and Yap. Palau had a rather primitive airport terminal, which consisted of a thatched-roof hut the size of a barn, and topped off with a 1950s Fire Truck standing by, just in case.. Yap was interesting for two reasons: There was the imminent departure of the famous "Flying Missionary" in his beautiful Beech 18--parked next to his home on the airport--to Australia, and a passenger we picked up at the airport who was engaged in tracking down one Amelia Earhart. I could not hear much of the conversation between the C-130 crew and this scholar, but I did manage to overhear that he was commissioned by an American University to uncover evidence that Earhart and Noonan were captured by the Japanese, and held on one of the islands occupied by the Japanese Navy.
08/06/2011 @ 11:55 [ref: 45848]

Pacific Missionary Aviation was the name of that outfit. The chief pilot (and only pilot-Jerry R....) flew out to one of the atolls on a very bad day to medi-vac out one of the natives. He ran out of fuel on the way back and had to ditch that B-18 in heavy seas. All there was for NAV at the time was a Loran radio and the B-18 was equipped with it (per Jerry). Air Force Search and Rescue found them and all were saved. Jerry got a nasty busted up nose but otherwise he was okay. I worked for him in trade for a spare room attached to that hanger sitting behind a similar thatched roof "terminal" you mention. I was staying up till then at a hotel in Colonia (the Capitol) but with the monsoon seasonal rains turning the road between the airport and the town in a sliding ooze the little Datsun pick-up truck I was renting couldn't climb the small hills unless I packed the bed with school kids walking to the elementary school located halfway to the airport on the highest ground. After that it was a downhill run and many times I slid off into the ditch. Very messy. I helped Jerry perform maintenance on their Britten Norman Islander and another STOL, polyhedral low winged twin made by the Evangel Aircraft Company. I painted the seagull logo on the vertical fin of that airplane and the initials PMA beneath it. Both airplanes were a constant battle against corrosion. To this day I can't stand the smell of LPS3. Jerry was on furlough from World Airways. PMA was actually operated by the Liebenzell Mission in Germany by a man who was still an ardent Nazis at that time. Strange world in a stranger place.

The B727 I was there to dismantle on Yap burned because the fire truck from Colonia had a leak and was empty by the time it made the crash site. Truth! No lives lost, though. The only injuries were a broken ankle (pilot) and others minor srapes and bruises sustained by the passengers and crew as they ran through the jungle scrub getting away from the plane. The airport is still surrounded with bomb craters from WWII and people got hurt falling into them or running into the burned out hulks of what was left of the Japanese airplanes near the wreck hidden in the scrub.

The Coast Guard was there to man the Loran station on the northern-most point of the island. The Navy Seabees (CAT - Civil Action Team) kept a presence there as well. Their corpsman sewed me up after I got a nasty laceration on my arm one day. There was no medical facility on Yap. The Andersen runs kept both organizations supplied. Because of the monsoons causing transit delays from their locations both outfits were always late when the C-130s arrived. So, I marshalled them onto the terminal tarmac on those days.
08/13/2011 @ 13:39 [ref: 46029]
 Tom Dembowski
 , VA
Hi David;
It is a KC-135-Q that had the special fuel system to refuel the “SR”. At RAF Mildenhall, I had lots of fun with “Q” crews that tried to fly my “A” frame. It took some time to teach them the differences.

As for the “SR”, when she was parked in the shed, there were half dozen buckets under the aircraft. But the “SR” fuel is very thick, thus the leaks were a very slow drip. The fuel that was collected in the buckets would be recycled. Very little fuel would be wasted.

08/08/2011 @ 07:41 [ref: 45898]
 David Baker
 Sacramento, CA
I noticed the SR-71 photo in your display, and I remember the special QC-135s that refueled those planes. They dispensed JP-7 fuel that was usable at high altitudes. After each takeoff, the Blackbird would have to A/R quickly in order to complete it's mission profile, so one of the special tankers were always airborne to perform that chore. The SR-71 was notorious for leaking fuel on the ground. Much of their fuel load was wasted just sitting there.
08/06/2011 @ 20:13 [ref: 45876]
 David Baker
 Sacramento, CA
Joe, I took a ride on one of those "Trash Hauler" C-130s from Andersen AFB to Palau and Yap. Palau had a rather primitive airport terminal, which consisted of a thatched-roof hut the size of a barn, and topped off with a 1950s Fire Truck standing by, just in case.. Yap was interesting for two reasons: There was the imminent departure of the famous "Flying Missionary" in his beautiful Beech 18--parked next to his home on the airport--to Australia, and a passenger we picked up at the airport who was engaged in tracking down one Amelia Earhart. I could not hear much of the conversation between the C-130 crew and this scholar, but I did manage to overhear that he was commissioned by an American University to uncover evidence that Earhart and Noonan were captured by the Japanese, and held on one of the islands occupied by the Japanese Navy.
08/06/2011 @ 11:55 [ref: 45848]

 
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