ECflyer From United States of America, joined May 2012, 14 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3554 times:
I was home at midday today (4/24) in the Upper Valley of Vermont, just north of the village of Woodstock. Most air traffic overhead is mainline commercial aircraft at full cruising altitude, or small single engine stuff. Occasionally I will see an F-16 from the VT ANG.
Today I heard something different while working in the driveway, older turbofans making considerable noise. Been hearing this occasionally over the last few weeks, but always on overcast days. Today was bluebird clear, and to my surprise directly overhead was a KC-135 (must be an R these days) feeding what I believe was a C-17. They were at a good height, guessing FL25 or more, so it might have been a C-5. Certainly the noise (which got my attention) seemed more like old CF6s than the CFMs on a 135R or the quieter fans on the C-17.
Anyway, whose tanker would that have been? Bangor? Nothing at Plattsburgh anymore, correct? Does the old Pease have a few tankers still? It was a very cool, unexpected sight in rural central Vermont. To think we once had Plattsburgh, Loring, Dow, Pease, and Bruswick NAS all generating bigtime military traffic.
ECflyer From United States of America, joined May 2012, 14 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (7 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3445 times:
Thank you both for the replies. I knew Bangor had lost their E models, but wasn't sure they had gotten Rs. I had also heard that Pease would probably get the KC-46, but didn't realize they were still active with the 135. And Plattsburgh has nothing apparently, which was also an area of uncertainty for me.
Perhaps weather, etc. has them tracking over me lately; I have been hearing the same engines periodically for a few weeks.
KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 11897 posts, RR: 52 Reply 4, posted (7 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3317 times:
It could be a Volent Boom mission, refueling operational AMC cargo haulers on their way to the EU and beyond. Years ago, in my Pease days we did a lot of these, they were then C-141Bs or C-5A/Bs out of McGuire or Dover. But our refueling then were out off the southern coast of Newfoundland. My guess is if this is a C-17 it is from an ANG unit flying out of the Midwest or southern base.
There are several published air refueling tracks that begin over VT or NH and proceed NE to Northern ME, and one or two that go in the opposite direction beginning in Northern Maine going SW to NH or VT. There are also a few air refueling anchor routes just off the coast of NH and Cape Cod.
ECflyer From United States of America, joined May 2012, 14 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (7 months 2 weeks ago) and read 3260 times:
Thanks for the info TopBoom, and very interesting. I had neglected to mention they were headed just about due south. Looking at the planform size difference and given the noise, I think I got lucky and saw a Galaxy. How many miles are covered in an typical fueling of the bigger transports?
I lived in central Maine for five years and got used to seeing the occasional 135E model--but never actively offloading fuel--along with massive commercial traffic transiting to/from Europe. Lots of P-3s hanging over Bath and Brunswick too while taking my kids to the beach.
My grandad was a captain in the army air corp before and during WWII (his eventual wife and my grandmother was his army-appointed secretary). He retired to the Jersey Shore in the late 70s, and I would watch streams of C-141s come and go from their house, parallel to the beach and offshore, on their way to McGuire. The Starlifter has always been a favorite of mine from those days.
KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 11897 posts, RR: 52 Reply 8, posted (7 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3105 times:
Refueling in the published A/R Tracks (or anywhere else, such as "random refueling") are usually done on an ALTRAV or with MARSA. So, there is no conflict with civilian traffic. A/R traffic is called out just like any other traffic is called out.
NBGSkyGod From United States of America, joined May 2004, 672 posts, RR: 1 Reply 10, posted (7 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2788 times:
ECFlyer, I live int UV as well, the traffic along AR631 is almost daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Often it's 135s out of Pease or Bangor refueling C-5s out of Westover, however they sometimes play with others as well, C17s out of McGuire, as well as KC10s from there as well. Just the other day I saw a 135 fueling a 10.
"I use multi-billion dollar military satellite systems to find tupperware in the woods."
ECflyer From United States of America, joined May 2012, 14 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (7 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2579 times:
NBSkyGod, thanks for the input (and others as well).
At about 11:10 this a.m. (EDT) I heard the engines again and came out of the garage. Another bluebird day here, 10 out of 10 weather-wise, and RIGHT above the house, no more than FL20 I'd say, was a 135 offloading--southbound on AR631 I guess.
Grabbed the camera off the tractor and could not visually reacquire the birds. I have some big white pines, and between them, the sunlight, and the light grey paint of the planes I could not find the aircraft. In my haste to NOT miss them, I did not get a good look at the trailing plane. It struck me that I believe it only had a single engine under each wing, which would have made it a KC-10.
Is a C-17 in the same noise ballpark as a modern commercial quad? Are 135Rs particularly noisy? I ask because I am detecting these flights mostly by sound signature, and I'd guess it's the sound of older CF6s (TF-39s or F-103s) that is getting my attention. Anyway, glad I posted originally and have something cool coming overhead most days around noon.