wannabe
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KC-135 Low Level Pass

Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:55 pm

I'm not sure refueling ever occurs at this altitude.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xoprb_amateur-davion
 
PADSpot
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RE: KC-135 Low Level Pass

Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:56 pm

I wonder how many beep and warning sounds you could in the cockpit at that time ...
 
wannabe
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RE: KC-135 Low Level Pass

Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:43 am

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 1):
I wonder how many beep and warning sounds you could in the cockpit at that time ...

LOL. I never thought of that! It must have sounded like a Toy'R Us store the week before Christmas. That plus the sound of your career wizzing away if your CO were to ever see this tape.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-135 Low Level Pass

Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:16 am

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 1):
wonder how many beep and warning sounds you could in the cockpit at that time ...

The KC-135R does not have those kinds of bells and whistles. BTW, that was a French AF C-135FR.

Quoting Wannabe (Thread starter):
I'm not sure refueling ever occurs at this altitude.

No, of course not. But, in the late 1980s the 509th Bomb Wing (Pease AFB, NH), and it's 509th AREFS KC-135As could refuel FB-111As down at 200' AGL. They were the only unit I know of allowed to do low level refuelings.
 
2H4
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RE: KC-135 Low Level Pass

Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:21 am




Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
in the late 1980s the 509th Bomb Wing (Pease AFB, NH), and it's 509th AREFS KC-135As could refuel FB-111As down at 200' AGL.

Man....the pucker factor must have been off the scale...



2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
RC135U
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RE: KC-135 Low Level Pass

Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:51 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
No, of course not. But, in the late 1980s the 509th Bomb Wing (Pease AFB, NH), and it's 509th AREFS KC-135As could refuel FB-111As down at 200' AGL. They were the only unit I know of allowed to do low level refuelings

Holy S**t, Top! Never heard of this. Over what kind of terrain were they cleared for? Can't imagine a 135 scooting around rugged mountains and they're certainly not equipped with terrain following radar.
 
Avsfan
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RE: KC-135 Low Level Pass

Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:18 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
in the late 1980s the 509th Bomb Wing (Pease AFB, NH), and it's 509th AREFS KC-135As could refuel FB-111As down at 200' AGL. They were the only unit I know of allowed to do low level refuelings.

In 1986 Stategic Air Command (SAC) had put together their own air demonstration team that consisted of a KC-135, B-52, F-111 and KC-10. During one of their practice sessions (might have even been an actual performance for the CINC SAC..cant remember) at Offutt AFB, NE, I saw a KC-135 and B-52 refueling at about 100-200 ft as they flew down final. Once they hit the approach end of the RWY, the KC-135 executed a climbout to about 10,000ft and the B-52 executed a low approach down the RWY and then did a climbout at the end of the RWY. Of course this was unauthorized at the time. The safety officer in the tower at the time was very surprised to see fuel come out of the boom when the KC-135 disconnected from the BUFF. As he put it...."They had better not be connected and passing gas".
"Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth...Put out my hand and touched the face of God"
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-135 Low Level Pass

Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:29 pm

Quoting RC135U (Reply 5):
Holy S**t, Top! Never heard of this. Over what kind of terrain were they cleared for? Can't imagine a 135 scooting around rugged mountains and they're certainly not equipped with terrain following radar.

There were two areas we went to for this. The first was over water near Nantucket Island. But the sporting one was in the old IR route in the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire, then on through Vermont. That route we could only fly SW bound, instead of the normal NE bound. After about 3 years of this Boeing inspected the tankers and found lots of cracked bulkheads. The cost to modify the entire fleet was high, so SAC then looked at modifying about 88 airplanes, and giving them a new designation, the KC-135L. One problem was Boeing thought the "R" model couldn't do this because of the additional stress on the wings. So, if the program had gone foreward, the tankers would have upgraded to KC-135Es, then to the KC-135L configueration at the same depot trip. IIRC, one NHANG KC-135E was also used in this test, as well as all 12 assigned 509th ARFES KC-135As.

Emergency breakaway procedures were modified for the FB-111 to slide left or right and slow to around 300 KIAS, but not change altitude, the KC-135 went into a max performance climb straight ahead.

This low level refueling was only tried in day VFR, with a ceiling no lower than 12,000' and no gusty surface winds. Air refueling airspeed was increased to 330 KIAS, from the normal FB-111 refueling airspeed of 315 KIAS at FL 200. This allowed the max performance climb for the tanker. But, one problem was "mach tuck" at that airspeed.
 
wannabe
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RE: KC-135 Low Level Pass

Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:42 am

I have to believe there were many soiled shorts in the New England area when you guys went screaming over a local highway/town/farm at 330 KIAS 200 feet off the deck!! Tell me something like this wouldn't get your blood flowing.



This is a B-52 less than 500 feet over the Hudson River. Believe me, it caught many eyes! Being attached to a KC-135 at the same time would be spectacular. How did you guys handle the mountainous terrain. Were you turning all of the time, or just changing altitude? Not sure how you guys accomplished this.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-135 Low Level Pass

Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:04 am

Quoting Wannabe (Reply 8):
Were you turning all of the time, or just changing altitude? Not sure how you guys accomplished this.

We used gentel climbs, decents, and turns. These routes were preflown by us, for training, to get the feel of the aircraft at low level. The routes were chosen so all turns were no more than 15 degrees of bank, or +/- 3 degrees of pitch for climbs and decents. The idea was to use terrain masking as much as possible, and the higher airspeed reduced the time over each threat. After the FB-111s were retired, it was thought this could be used for the B-1Bs and B-2As, but not the B-52H.

The tanker would hide in a "safe" area, while the bomber went to do his thing.

No, I cannot say why we were doing this type of training.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-135 Low Level Pass

Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:19 am

I almost forgot to add, all of this was hand flown by the KC-135's Pilots. There was no using the autopliot. The Navigator had the radar (APN-59V) set up for station keeping, giving constant ranges to the mountain walls and ridge lines.

It was also usually a bumpy ride, too.
 
RC135U
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RE: KC-135 Low Level Pass

Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:07 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):
It was also usually a bumpy ride, too.

Great story. I'll bet you and your boomer buddies took the brunt of the turbulence back there flying that boom. I've heard stories of BUFF tailgunners (pre G and H models) cracking their helmets from getting banged around so much in the low level ops. I still fail to see the practicality of these low level tanking ops unless the plan was for the tankers to essentially escort the FBs on their missions against the Motherland out of CONUS. Must have burned up a lot of gas...
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-135 Low Level Pass

Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:59 am

Quoting RC135U (Reply 11):
Must have burned up a lot of gas...

Yes, it did. We could only carry enough JP-4 (what we used in those days), for us and one FB-111A.

I'd tell you how the combat missions (several were planned) would have worked, but then, as you know, I'd have to kill you...........

I don't know if this program is still on a shelf somewhere, I rather doubt it is, seeing the KC-135Es are going away.
 
ZBBYLW
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RE: KC-135 Low Level Pass

Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:33 pm

WOW this is amazing. Same video but take a look what type of airplane they call it, they call this a 747. http://thatvideosite.com/video/3726 a 747 has to be the most easaly identifiable aircraft ever (next to the concord) and they missed the boat on this.
Keep the shinny side up!

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