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Why So Many Strobes On A KC10?

Fri Feb 27, 2004 1:28 pm

I live and work near an air force base here in Jersey and have the pleasure of watching the KC10s doing touch and goes all day. At night, I'm mystified by the number of strobes on these jets. Besides the normal top and bottom red beacons and the two white strobes on each wing, there are two additional white strobes on the top and bottom of the fuselage that don't flash in order with the rest of the strobes/beacons. What's the purpose of the additional strobes? Is this a common setup on inflight refuelers? Thanks
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Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2001 7:31 pm

RE: Why So Many Strobes On A KC10?

Fri Feb 27, 2004 3:45 pm

MD, I can tell you that from a receiver aircraft perspective it's nice to have a brightly lit tanker at night in the weather. It's most important when you are one mile in trail trying to keep them in sight as they fade in and out of the clouds.

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RE: Why So Many Strobes On A KC10?

Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:18 am

Most of the current USAF heavies have converted to a combination red/white upper and lower strobe. The only extra set the KC-10 has is the wing tip strobes. On a standard, non formation, good weather scenario we light everything up like a Christmas tree. If we had big neon signs that said "TEXACO" we would use them too. During poor weather we will use the upper/lower in red only, to reduce the glare from clouds. For Air Refueling we turn off the wing tips and lower beacon to keep from blinding the receiver, and as PW4084 said, they make it much easier to find us in the soup.

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