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How Old Are The KC-135s That Are In Service?  
User currently offlineDa man From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 887 posts, RR: 12
Posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6675 times:

I was wondering what the average age of the KC-135A/E/Rs that are in the fleet.

da man


War Eagle!
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 6612 times:

No more KC-135A's in the fleet. They were all made between 1957 and 1965, assuming a constant production (and retirement) rate that would make the average age about 42 years.

LY744.



Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29800 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6596 times:

Isn't every single KC-135R a A with the CFM engines?

If so then the A model is still around.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineDa man From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 887 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6605 times:

Yep, the same goes for the -135Es, they are As with TF33s.
I just want to know the average age of the -135s in the fleet.
da man



War Eagle!
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6565 times:

Well, as said the average airframe life is about 40 years.
While the aircraft don't see as many cycles and flight hours as civilian versions the stress on the airframe is higher (more time at low altitude and buffeting from flying in close formation with aircraft being refueled) which probably means they age about as quickly.

They are old ladies indeed. And remember they weren't designed for a long life like the B-52 (which will if plans proceed be around for another 20-40 years in one form or another!), they're rapidly nearing the end of their airframe lifes.
Were that to happen without replacement the USAF would be reduced to acting only within unrefueled range from the US coast (except for the small number of KC-10s which are mainly tasked with supporting strategic missions and thus unavailable to tactical operations!).



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineFACT From South Africa, joined Jul 2002, 200 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6551 times:

KC-135: 1st delivery April 1957 / last delivery January 1965

To give you some idea of how many of these are still serving:

FY 1955:
29 airframes - 6 still in service as tankers (E model)

FY 1956:
68 airframes - 22 s.i.s.a.t. (19 x E / 3 x R)

FY 1957:
118 airframes - 95 s.i.s.a.t. (55 x E / 40 x R)

FY 1958:
130 airframes - 109 s.i.s.a.t. (32 x E / 44 x R / 4 x R(RT) / 29 x T)

FY 1959:
81 airframes - 74 s.i.s.a.t. (20 x E / 38 x R / 16 x T)

FY 1960:
56 airframes - 46 s.i.s.a.t. (2 x E / 31 x R / 4 x R(RT) / 9 x T)

FY 1961:
65 airframes - 42 s.i.s.a.t. (6 x E / 35 x R / 1 x R(RT))

FY 1962:
89 airframes - 69 s.i.s.a.t. (1 x E / 68 x R)

FY 1963:
104 airframes - 79 s.i.s.a.t. (4 x D / 75 x R)

FY 1964:
13 airframes - 13 s.i.s.a.t (13 x R)

Totals:
D model : 4
E model : 141
R model : 347
T model : 54
R(RT) model : 9
----------------
All Types (tankers only) : 555

Please note these figures are based on my own research which was done about two years ago, so there may have been some changes since. Treat these as ballpark figures, not absolute totals.



there are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't
User currently offlineDa man From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 887 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6535 times:

What about the KC-135Qs for the SR-71?
da man



War Eagle!
User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6524 times:

With FACT's figures, the average age works out to 42.67 years.  Smile

LY744.



Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6529 times:

As the -Q models were re-engined with the CFM-56, they were re-designated -T models. FACT's census shows around 50 still in service. I never understood the difference between the -D and -E models, although I saw -D's all the time (I went to college about 20 miles from Forbes Field in Topeka, where the -Ds are based). Could somebody please clear this up?

T.J.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineFACT From South Africa, joined Jul 2002, 200 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 6467 times:

The four KC-135Ds (63-8058/61) were originally ordered and built as RC-135As, a photomapping & surveying version delivered to MATS in 1965/6, completed with no refuelling system. These were the last four airframes of the C-135 family delivered to the USAF.

They later became redundant from that role and were converted to tankers around 1980, being re-designated KC-135D as their systems were somewhat different from the otherwise equivalent KC-135E.

[info from an old Air International article, courtesy of Peter V.]

All four KC-135Ds are operated by the Kansas ANG as part of the 117th ARS.

The only shot we've got of a KC-135D so far:

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Alan Brown





there are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't
User currently offlineChdmcmanus From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 374 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 6468 times:

Were that to happen without replacement the USAF would be reduced to acting only within unrefueled range from the US coast (except for the small number of KC-10s which are mainly tasked with supporting strategic missions and thus unavailable to tactical operations!).

Your joking, right? Not only does the KC-10 fly tactical, it does it longer, more often, and more regularly than the b-team KC-135. In fact, the "few" KC-10's had a higher average deployment day count and mission offload for OIF than the much more numerous but much less capable KC-135.

The amazing thing is with the age of the KC-135 fleet they are replacing it with an aircraft of similar capabilities, and calling it a "super" tanker. The KC-10 can already out perform the brand new "super" KC-767 in a tanker AND airlift role, and it's 20 years old. But that's a different story all together.

Fly Safe
ChD



"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"
User currently offlineMuddydawg From Portugal, joined Jan 2003, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 2 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6377 times:

Chdmcmanus

The only thing you forgot was that the KC-135's almost have ten times the aircraft we have. 59/555.

Stan


User currently offlineSovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2609 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6323 times:
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So 555 KC-135s are currently in service? Just in the US or all over the world? How many are in service in the US?

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29800 posts, RR: 58
Reply 13, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6321 times:

I belive that the French also got some KC-135's to support their nuclear bombers.

but that 555 number should be the ones in US service.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6308 times:

France and Singapore also have -135's, any others?


LY744.



Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineFACT From South Africa, joined Jul 2002, 200 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (11 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6297 times:

France bought 12 C-135F models (KC-135A equivalent, but they didn't use the KC designation) new in the mid-1960's. One was later written-off in 1972 and the eleven survivors updated to C-135FR status with CFM56 engines.

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Peter Vercruijsse
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Philippe Noret


They also bought 4 secondhand ones from the USAF in 1996/7: the former 62-3497 (497 in French service), 62-3525 (525), 62-3555 (555), 62-3574 (574) and upgraded those to C-135FR status as well.

Singapore also bought 4 secondhand KC-135As at the same time: 59-1454 (752), 61-0325 (751), 63-8009 (750), and 63-8016 (753), and these were upgraded to KC-135R equivalent status, but with hose-and-drogue pods under the wingtips as well.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gary Watt


The third foreign operator of the KC-135 is Turkey, who also acquired secondhand KC-135As at the same time as the other two and also upgraded them to KC-135R equivalent before taking delivery. They got 7: 57-2609 (72609), 58-0110 (80110), 60-0325 (00325), 60-0326 (00326), 62-3539 (23539), 62-3563 (23563), and 62-3567 (23567).

View Large View Medium
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Photo © Steve Williams




there are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't
User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 2 months 13 hours ago) and read 6316 times:

France kept one of their -135s at PSAB during OSW. Usually in P&D config though they flew Boom also.

Singapore flies their 135s here often to work with their fighters at Luke and Cannon, and also during Red Flag. They fly during Cope Tiger also.



Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Lt-AWACS, Yankee Air Pirate


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