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Oldest Usaf Aircraft  
User currently offlinebigbird From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 183 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 8 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 15709 times:
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With all of the talk about the KC-X I was wondering what the oldest aircraft in the USAF is. It is probably a KC-135 and if so does anyone know the serial number? Even if it is not a KC-135 can someone tell me what is the oldest tanker still going? Also are there any older ones in other branches of US services. The U S Navy
Beaver at PAX River comes to mind.


bigbird from georgia
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinehka098 From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 6 days ago) and read 15682 times:

I would tend to think some of the B-52s, still in service, are up there in age.

User currently offlinemechatnew From United States of America, joined May 2005, 101 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 15576 times:

With the retirement of the T-37 Tweet last year I think that a Fiscal year 1957 KC-135R would be the oldest in the USAF. None of the 1955/56 KC-135A/E were converted to 'R' models. Maybe 57-1419 of the 117ARS Kansas ANG. The B-52Hs are 1960/61. There are a few 1960/61/62 T-38Cs ,and 1961/62 C-130Es still in service.
As for the USN/MC I belive you are corect about the U-6A Beaver. Most of the KC-130Fs have been retired, but I think there are a couple still in service. These were based on the C-130B and would have been delivered in the early 1960s. The CH-46 are from the mid 1960s.


User currently offlineebj1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 15520 times:

Quoting mechatnew (Reply 2):
I think that a Fiscal year 1957 KC-135R would be the oldest in the USAF

That sounds logical. I presume there are absolutely no more piston engined airplanes anywhere in the USAF?



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User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2106 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 15488 times:

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 3):
That sounds logical. I presume there are absolutely no more piston engined airplanes anywhere in the USAF?

According to Wiki there are still a few T-41s (Cessna 172) used by the Air Force Academy and Flight Team. It was my guess that they still used them, I just wasn't sure where.



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User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 15440 times:
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Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 3):
That sounds logical. I presume there are absolutely no more piston engined airplanes anywhere in the USAF?

A model Predators are piston powered.



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User currently offlinemoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2314 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 15277 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 5):
A model Predators are piston powered.

That's a drone - real airplanes have pilots... 



KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12138 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 15278 times:

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 4):
According to Wiki there are still a few T-41s (Cessna 172) used by the Air Force Academy and Flight Team. It was my guess that they still used them, I just wasn't sure where.

The USAFA still has, I believe 3 T-41Cs in use. The USAF purchased the T-41A (C-172E) in 1964, and the T-41C (C-172F) in 1966. The US Army bought the T-41B (also a C-172E) in 1964 and 1965.

Several USAF T-41A/B/Cs were still flying in USAF-MWR Areo Clubs as recently as a few years ago, I don't know if the still have them.

The T-41A/B had a lever to operate the flaps, the T-41C had electricly operated flaps.

The oldest jet still flying in the USAF is KC-135R tail number 57-1419, ordered in FY 1957 and delivered in 1958. There are a number of 1957 and 1958 model KC-135Rs and several 1958 model KC-135Ts still on active flying with the USAF, ANG, and USAFR. The remaining B-52Hs are all FY 1961 and 1962 buys.


User currently offlinemechatnew From United States of America, joined May 2005, 101 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 15235 times:

In terms of piston engine aircraft still in service. I think the USAF Academy, besides the T-41s,has a least one Cessna 150, , with no military designnation. The US Army had 2 Cessna O-2A's, but I think they were just retired a few months ago, while the US Navy still has one. The US Army used to have 2 Cessna 182s at its Academy, and 2 AN-2s, but I am not sure if they are still in service. The US Navy has at least 2 U-6As[DHC-2 Beaver], and one U-1A [DHC-3 Otter ] with the Test Pilots School.

User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 15189 times:
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Quoting moose135 (Reply 6):
That's a drone - real airplanes have pilots...

Still it's piston powered... and probably expending more ordinance than any USAF mann, er, "crewed" aircraft at the moment....



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User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15150 times:
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Quoting mechatnew (Reply 8):
I think the USAF Academy, besides the T-41s,has a least one Cessna 150, , with no military designnation.

Two...both with N-numbers, and both registered to the United States Air Force:


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User currently offlinehka098 From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15144 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
The oldest jet still flying in the USAF is KC-135R tail number 57-1419, ordered in FY 1957 and delivered in 1958. There are a number of 1957 and 1958 model KC-135Rs and several 1958 model KC-135Ts still on active flying with the USAF, ANG, and USAFR. The remaining B-52Hs are all FY 1961 and 1962 buys.

1958! That says something about the manufacturers and maintainers of this aircraft.


User currently offlinecovert From Ghana, joined Oct 2001, 1450 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15076 times:

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 3):

The 557th Flying Training Squadron (US Air Force Academy) operates piston engined aircraft. They have T-41s, T-51s, and T-52s. (Cessna 150, 172, and Diamond DA40 military designations) Additionally, several of these aircraft are found in Aero Clubs donated as surplus. They now bear N registrations, however.

It has also been mentioned that Predators are piston powered. The US Army especially operates several smaller UAS' that are powered by piston engines (Shadow, Hunter, Warrior A, etc.)



thank goodness for TCAS !
User currently offlineB727LVR From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 630 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 8 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15071 times:

Quoting covert (Reply 12):
It has also been mentioned that Predators are piston powered. The US Army especially operates several smaller UAS' that are powered by piston engines (Shadow, Hunter, Warrior A, etc.)

Not to get too far off topis but the PUMA uses the 3 cylinder Smart car engine.


Back on topic...

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
The oldest jet still flying in the USAF is KC-135R tail number 57-1419, ordered in FY 1957 and delivered in 1958. There are a number of 1957 and 1958 model KC-135Rs and several 1958 model KC-135Ts still on active flying with the USAF, ANG, and USAFR. The remaining B-52Hs are all FY 1961 and 1962 buys.

I am amazed that the KC-135 fleet has older aircraft than the B52 fleet. I would have thought it would be the other way around...



I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to planes!
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6897 posts, RR: 46
Reply 14, posted (3 years 8 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 15040 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
The T-41A/B had a lever to operate the flaps, the T-41C had electricly operated flaps.

I used to fly a T-41 for Civil Air Patrol; I was under the impression that it was a T-41B, and it definitely had electric flaps. Either I am wrong, and it was a T-41C (which is possible) or the -B had electric flaps. The original engine was the Continental O360 which had been replaced by the Lycoming O360, and it had a constant speed prop.

Quoting B727LVR (Reply 13):

I am amazed that the KC-135 fleet has older aircraft than the B52 fleet. I would have thought it would be the other way around...

Only the latest B-52's are still flying; all of the early models have been retired. A much greater percentage of the B-52 fleet has been retired than the KC-135 fleet.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12138 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (3 years 8 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 14820 times:

Quoting B727LVR (Reply 13):
I am amazed that the KC-135 fleet has older aircraft than the B52 fleet. I would have thought it would be the other way around...
Quoting SEPilot (Reply 14):
Only the latest B-52's are still flying; all of the early models have been retired. A much greater percentage of the B-52 fleet has been retired than the KC-135 fleet.

Correct, the B-52B/C/D/E/F/Gs were all built between 1954 and 1959 (the last few B-52Gs were delivered in 1960). All of these bombers have been retired, and most of them have been scrapped. There is only 2 B-52Bs remaining, one at the SAC Mesuem at OFF, and the NASA flight test B-52B which flew until about 2005. There is one surviving B-52C owned by P&W (no longer flying and may have been scrapped by now), a few B-52Ds in museums, all the B-52Es are scrapped, 1-2 B-52Fs in museums, and several B-52Gs in museums.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 14):
I used to fly a T-41 for Civil Air Patrol; I was under the impression that it was a T-41B, and it definitely had electric flaps. Either I am wrong, and it was a T-41C (which is possible) or the -B had electric flaps. The original engine was the Continental O360 which had been replaced by the Lycoming O360, and it had a constant speed prop.

The CAP received the T-41A/B/C from the USAF (T-41A/C) and US Army (T-41B). All originally were C-172Es, except the T-41C was the C-172F and all originally had the Continental engines. The Lycoming engine began with the production of the C-172I in 1968, and was available to reengine the Continental engined aircraft. So your CAP T-41 most likely got reengined. The US Army also got some C-172Fs, which had the electric flaps, but still called them the T-41B. The USAF C-172Fs were all called T-41Cs while the USAF C-172Es were called the T-41A. You very well could be right then as your CAP T-41 could have been a "B" model.


User currently offlinemechatnew From United States of America, joined May 2005, 101 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (3 years 8 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 14771 times:

There are 4 B-52Bs preserved.
B-52B 52-0005 at the old Lowry AFB museum, in Colorado.
NB-52B 52-0008 , the NASA one, at Edwards AFB,CA
RB-52B 52-0013 at the National Atomic Museum near Kirtland AFB,NM
RB-52B 52-8711 at the SAC museum, Nebraska.
The is also NB-52A 52-0003 at the Pima Museum in Arizona., and B-52F 57-0038 at Palmdale, CA. the rest of the reserved ones are B-52Ds, and B-52Gs.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6897 posts, RR: 46
Reply 17, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 14635 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
So your CAP T-41 most likely got reengined.

It absolutely was; that was what I meant in my original post. One thing I did not emphasize is that while the Cessna 172's of that era had the Continental O-300 (145HP) the T-41's had the Continental O-360 (200HP) and a constant speed prop. The Lycoming conversion only had 180HP. Cessna did offer the 172SP, which had the Continental O-360 and constant speed prop, but I believe it was not offered until later. One other quirk of the T-41's; they had no baggage door.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 18, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 14632 times:
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Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
One other quirk of the T-41's; they had no baggage door.

Are you sure? Baggage doors are visible on all of these:


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Photo © Eduardo Cardenas




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User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1536 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 14618 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
Cessna did offer the 172SP, which had the Continental O-360 and constant speed prop, but I believe it was not offered until later

I think you mean the 172XP, with a Continental IO-360 with a constant speed prop. While it is marketed as a 172, it was actually built on the 175 type certificate. The 172SP (built since the late 1990's) is powered by a Lycoming IO-360, with a fixed pitch prop.

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6897 posts, RR: 46
Reply 20, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 14598 times:

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 19):
I think you mean the 172XP, with a Continental IO-360 with a constant speed prop.

You're right.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6897 posts, RR: 46
Reply 21, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 14596 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 18):

Are you sure? Baggage doors are visible on all of these:

They certainly are. The one I flew, however, did not have one. I was under the impression that none of them did; obviously I was wrong.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12138 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 14480 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 18):
2H4

I have flown in T-41A N4976R, it was part of the Aero Club at BED. IIRC, they had 2 T-41As and 2 or 3 Archers. N4976R did not have electric flaps.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6897 posts, RR: 46
Reply 23, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 14460 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 18):

I just noticed that the third picture you posted has a fixed prop; which indicates that it probably had the Continental O-300 instead of the O-360. So does anyone have any information on which T-41's had the larger engine?



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2346 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (3 years 8 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 14187 times:
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The USAF Test Pilot School operates, on a semi-regular basis, a B-17, HU-16 Albatross, MiG-15 and DC-3. I'm not sure of the ownership status of any of those aircraft, so I don't know if they should count as "USAF Aircraft" for purposes of this discussion, but the B-17 or DC-3 would certainly have been produced prior to the 1957 KC-135s, and the HU-16 and MiG-15 could have been.

25 KC135TopBoom : Yes, all of them were built long before any KC-135A. But each of the aircraft you mentioned are rented and or leased for short terms by the USAF, all
26 rwessel : Just to play with semantics a bit, the original question was "what the oldest aircraft in the USAF is." If the original 767 tanker deal had happened,
27 SEPilot : I would say that an aircraft on long-term lease would count as being in the USAF, just as you would count it in an airline's fleet. A plane that is o
28 KC135TopBoom : Yes, it would still be a USAF aircraft, with a USAF FY tail number. Originally all of the C-21s (Lear-35s) the USAF got in the 1980s were on long ter
29 FlyingSicilian : And just to add the highest hours airframes in the USAF flight are the E-3Bs and Cs (soon to be Gs) Higher than the oldest tanker and buff. They took
30 bigbird : Is KC-135R 57-1419 still active? If so, I am sure that it is definitely the oldest jet in regular service.
32 bigbird : Is KC-135R 63-7990 or 62-3554 still active? There is not a shot in the data base of 990. Also is there a place to find an active list of -135s?
33 Post contains images Confuscius : It's great, but the US Navy has the oldest commissioned vessel. "Old Ironsides"
34 Post contains links and images Zkpilot : lol Go Navy.... but................................. Her Majesty's Royal Navy has the oldest commissioned vessel: The First Rate 104-gun Ship of the
35 Confuscius : How old are the T-38 Talons? I wonder if these ships can be upgraded with VLS to complement their cannons.
36 rc135x : The high-time airframe recently was RC-135W 62-4139.
37 Post contains images flyingturtle : ...which leads to the question if the USAF has an aircraft that is kept in flying condition and will never get retired for any reason, just for tradi
38 Post contains images MD11Engineer : Didn´t she see some action in an anti-piracy operation off the shores of the Barbary coast? Jan
39 ebj1248650 : Chanute AFB in the mid 70's had a B-52F and I presumed it remained there and is now part of the Air Museum now that the base has been closed. Was the
40 sprout5199 : The Victory is the oldest "commissioned" vessel, and the Constitution is the oldest "commissioned" vessel afloat. The Victory is in permament dry doc
41 Post contains links KC135TopBoom : That was B-52F tail 57-0042, most of her was scrapped, but her nose section is in Santa Monica, CA. 63-7990 never became a KC-135R. She crashed on 31
42 Spacepope : What's high time on a KC-135? 40,000 hours?
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