Topic Author
Posts: 1299
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:04 pm


Sat Jul 13, 2002 4:36 am

Tankers and their crews are the unsung heros of many a pilot. I've heard stories of tankers hooking up with a fighter who ran out of fuel and had his engine die. The tanker descended with the fighter, refueled him, and he got home. There several stories from Viet Nam like this. There are stories of tankers going into Southern Iraq during Desert Storm to refuel a plane that wasn't going to get home if they didn't get fuel. I've talked with an A-10 pilot who came home because a tanker crew stuck their neck out, big time. Does anyone have any first person experiences like these or better?
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 7:53 pm

RE: Tankers

Sat Jul 13, 2002 8:02 pm

just a note on the side... I heard that the SR-71 Blackbird has a tanker designed for it and it alone... its like the KC-130K or R or something... cant remember.
Posts: 5185
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 11:55 pm

RE: Tankers

Sat Jul 13, 2002 8:56 pm

Can't be a KC-130, since the SR-71 (like all other AR-capable USAF a/c) uses the Boom air-refueling system.

Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it

RE: SR-71 Tankers

Sat Jul 13, 2002 9:35 pm

The tanker adapted for refuelling the SR-71 Blackbird was the KC-135Q Stratotanker, all since re-engined to KC-135T standard. It wasn't dedicated to refuelling the SR-71 - it was capable of carrying the fuel that that aircraft needed, but could also carry "normal" fuel for other types.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Yak Freak

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Tony Rogers

Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Tankers

Sat Jul 13, 2002 9:54 pm

Didn't they have to do a tank purge when they switched fuels from J-6(SR-71 fuel) to Jet-A?

Also wasn't there a heating system for the fuel before it went out to the boom. From what I have read, Blackbird gas was pretty thick.
Posts: 2120
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2002 2:40 am

RE: Tankers

Sun Jul 14, 2002 2:00 am

I have tons of stories. I have personally vectored tankers all over southern IRaq and Afghanistan to refuel other guys who didn't hit the tanker legs. It happens on a daily basis.

there are literally 1000's of stories. I enjoy working with the tankers, busy but fun indeed.

Io voglio fica ogni giorni da mia bella moglie!
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 7:53 pm

RE: Tankers

Sun Jul 14, 2002 3:39 am

oh yeah... thats right... it was the KC-135Q, sorry about that..
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 12:34 am

RE: Tankers

Mon Jul 15, 2002 4:17 pm

Not first hand, but one of the most impressive tanker stories is the one that involved the Vulcan bombing the runway at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. To get it there and back, the tankers had to refuel tankers which refuelled tankers etc. That must have taken some co-ordinating. Does anyone know how many tanking operations occured?
Topic Author
Posts: 1299
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:04 pm

RE: Tankers

Mon Jul 15, 2002 9:23 pm

References to the SR-71. Both the U-2 family and the SR-71's use (or used) JP-7. The reason for this special fuel is that at the altitudes these airplanes operate (or operated) their range would be restricted by the evaporation rate of the fuel (JP-4). So a fuel with a very low vapor pressure (JP-7) was developed. This fuel is also very difficult to light off; I know the SR-71's used a hypergolic (spelling?) ignition system in which a fluid, that ignites on contact with oxygen, is injected into the burner section (and the afterburner or reheat to Brits) and this ignites the fuel. If you see a film of either an engine start or an A/B light of a SR-71, look for the green flash before ignition. That is the hypergolic fluid lighting off. I don't know what type of ignition system the U-2's use.
KC-135's and KC-10's were adapted to carry this fuel. The KC-135Q is the SR-71 refueler.
I would still like to get some tanker stories, if anyone has some.
Posts: 394
Joined: Sun May 07, 2000 4:50 am

RE: Tankers

Wed Jul 17, 2002 2:44 am

About tankers,

Does the Netherlands Air Force have some plans to replace their KDC-10 with "KMD-11" (for example, ex KLM birds)?

Because their KDC-10 are slowly but surely ageing and need to be replace in a middle-term...?!


Posts: 7877
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 1999 3:50 am

RE: Tankers

Wed Jul 17, 2002 2:27 pm

Can't haul ass without tanker gas!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos