GQfluffy
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"Omega" KC-135?

Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:01 am

Tonight @ BIL...about 1850 local (MST) a 707/KC-135 with a black Omega symbol, or an upside down horseshoe, on the tail. I couldn't see if there were any USAF symbols on the a/c. Anyone have any idea what this aircraft is and/or why it was here? Flightaware shows jack...
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Spacepope
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RE: "Omega" KC-135?

Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:11 am

It's a 707, so I guess you could call it a KC-137. N707AR probably.

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No boom mod, but most inflight pics seem to show it with Navy aircraft. Centerline hose?
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MDorBust
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RE: "Omega" KC-135?

Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:38 am

Quoting GQfluffy (Thread starter):
Anyone have any idea what this aircraft is and/or why it was here?

The Omega tanker is a privately owned aerial refueling tanker that contracts out for military service.

Webpage:
http://www.fuelbirds.com/
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GQfluffy
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RE: "Omega" KC-135?

Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:51 am

Thanks, gents. I gave a quick look of military 707s, but didn't see any.
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hangarrat
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RE: "Omega" KC-135?

Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:23 am

I saw what I am convinced was a 707 near PHL on Tuesday morning. It was pretty high, but I'm sure it wasn't an A340 or DC-8. It didn't appear to be a KC-135 with the high bypass engines and flightaware didn't show N707JT or N88ZL anywhere in the area, so I'm wondering what it was. Flightaware also doesn't show any of the Omega Tanker regs in the area. Are there other 707s active in the states?
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saintsman
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RE: "Omega" KC-135?

Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:52 pm

They also have a KDC-10 waiting for approval from the US military to refuel

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...%26rls%3DGGLG,GGLG:2005-46,GGLG:en
 
phxplanes
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RE: "Omega" KC-135?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:18 am

I see the omega 707 fly into Williams Gateway every once and a while. Why do they need a contract tanker service when they only have one plane. Doesn't the military do a good job on there own.
 
Venus6971
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RE: "Omega" KC-135?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:35 am

Quoting Phxplanes (Reply 6):
I see the omega 707 fly into Williams Gateway every once and a while. Why do they need a contract tanker service when they only have one plane. Doesn't the military do a good job on there own.

From what I am told by naval Aviators the primary users of Omega that they hate the rigid drogue baskets of the KC-135 that comes off the boom unlike the soft basket that allows for some error. If you start yawing in a 135 drogue you snap off your tip on the probe and the tanker has a souvenior but is done for the day. I personally have a Luftwaffe Tornado probe tip in my collection of bad acft parts.The Omega 707 has soft baskets like the ones they have on the boat coming off S-3's and F-18A-F's. Plus it is probably easier for them to dispatch a tanker like this than go through TACC at Scott and gives more flexiability.
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Spacepope
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RE: "Omega" KC-135?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:43 am

What is the cost of refuelling, say, 6 F-18s 200 miles from base with this aircraft as opposed to a USAF tanker? I would imagine cheaper.
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ftrguy
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RE: "Omega" KC-135?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:17 am

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 7):
From what I am told by naval Aviators the primary users of Omega that they hate the rigid drogue baskets of the KC-135 that comes off the boom unlike the soft basket that allows for some error. If you start yawing in a 135 drogue you snap off your tip on the probe and the tanker has a souvenior but is done for the day. I personally have a Luftwaffe Tornado probe tip in my collection of bad acft parts.The Omega 707 has soft baskets like the ones they have on the boat coming off S-3's and F-18A-F's. Plus it is probably easier for them to dispatch a tanker like this than go through TACC at Scott and gives more flexiability.

We called the KC-135 the Iron Maiden because it was a pain in the a$$ to refuel from. I have also refueled from the Omega tanker and it is much easier than the -135. Much of it has to do with the position of the hoses. If you are using the the wingtip pods on the -135, you get all the turbulence from the wingtip vortices. The baskets on the Omega come from the same place as they do on the KC-10 which makes it much easier to deal with.

Basically the Omega guys are scheduled through the Navy. The Navy pays them an hourly flight rate and the squadron receiving the gas only pays for the gas they get.

They have 2 707's now. They basically found 2 low time aircraft and put a refueling system in the back. All the equipment to run the refueling gear is in the cockpit and is run by the engineer. When I flew with them it seems like they just modified the fuel dump system to dump into the baskets instead of outside. I could be wrong though.

Here is a picture of N707AR in a not so pretty pose:

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Photo © John Burgess



Here is a takeoff video of N707AR as well:
http://flightlevel350.com/Aircraft_B...itled_Aviation_Video-6399.html?s=y
 
Venus6971
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RE: "Omega" KC-135?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:25 pm

Quoting Ftrguy (Reply 9):
They have 2 707's now. They basically found 2 low time aircraft and put a refueling system in the back. All the equipment to run the refueling gear is in the cockpit and is run by the engineer. When I flew with them it seems like they just modified the fuel dump system to dump into the baskets instead of outside. I could be wrong though.

I am cutting and pasting this from the Omega website
"Omega�s fuel tank system is basically the same as a KC-135, without forward and aft body tanks. Both Omega and a KC-135 have two reserve tanks, two outboard main tanks, two inboard main tanks, and a center wing tank. Omega has larger wing and fuselage tanks, but without body tanks, Omega�s total fuel capacity is less. With a full fuel load, Omega can carry between 156k and 160k, depending on fuel type and temperature. At maximum landing weight, Omega can land with about 100k of fuel, so unless the flight is very short or has a low planned offload, Omega usually takeoff with full fuel. On a 10,000 ft. sea level runway, Omega can takeoff with full fuel up to about 85oF. Omega�s air refueling pumps are in the center wing tank, so all offloaded fuel has to drain to the center wing tank just as the KC-135 has to drain the fuel to the body tanks. Omega can drain fuel from all four main tanks to the center wing tank. Based on where the drain lines are in Omega�s main tanks, fuel can drain to about 1/3 level. Based on the relative height of the tanks, Omega�s outboard tanks drain fairly easily while the inboard tanks drain more slowly. Initially, Omega can drain fuel from the outboard tanks to the center tank almost as fast as it can be offloaded. Operationally, Omega uses the inboard tanks to feed the engines and saves the outboard tanks and center wing tank for offload fuel. Between the fuel that can be offloaded from the center tank, 55k, and what can be drained from the outboard tanks, 26k, about 81k is easily available. Fuel above that has to drain from the inboard tanks which takes a little more planning and is affected by the sequence of the offload. Omega can offload and drain at the same time, but if a long line of receivers was waiting, Omega could only offload roughly 75k before a short pause would be necessary to allow for more fuel to drain to the center wing tank."

Sounds like they use the center wing boost pumps also called Overide pumps to go through the hose, a 707 can't transfer fuel from tank to tank in the air so they use the crossfeed manifold to refill the ctr wing tank using the overide pumps to keep fuel flow to the engines . The only time you transfer fuel is for mx and you need a hose you hook up on the X feed mainfold dry bay to the SPR on the ground. They offload at 200-300 gal GPM or 150-250 GPM to a EA-6B. With a 156K to 160K fuel load depending on fuel density they got this thing maxed out, hate to see what happens on a abortive takeoff.
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Venus6971
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RE: "Omega" KC-135?

Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:38 pm

Quoting Ftrguy (Reply 9):
They have 2 707's now. They basically found 2 low time aircraft and put a refueling system in the back

There is no such thing as a low time 707 unless you count SAM 27000 at the Reagan Library, I believe it had less than 20000 hrs on it.
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ftrguy
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RE: "Omega" KC-135?

Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:51 am

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 11):
There is no such thing as a low time 707 unless you count SAM 27000 at the Reagan Library, I believe it had less than 20000 hrs on it.

Well, for 707's they have low time. The "new" tanker was part of the Saudi royal fleet and has very low time for its age. Its kind of neat inside. All the signs are in arabic and the seat belts still have the royal Saudi logo on them.
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: "Omega" KC-135?

Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:11 am

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 8):
What is the cost of refuelling, say, 6 F-18s 200 miles from base with this aircraft as opposed to a USAF tanker? I would imagine cheaper.

Squadrons only pay for the gas they take...the FE will jot down the Modex/BuNo of each jet and it gets forwarded through the PMA office. The actual crew costs and a/c costs are fielded by a specific Navy PMA that pays for the work. When I flew with them sometimes we'd literally be sitting in the cockpit waiting for a phonecall saying the money was granted for the hop, then away we'd go.

Quoting Ftrguy (Reply 9):
All the equipment to run the refueling gear is in the cockpit and is run by the engineer. When I flew with them it seems like they just modified the fuel dump system to dump into the baskets instead of outside. I could be wrong though.

That's pretty much it...it was all sort of rigged but it works, as you well saw. I'll try to dig up a photo I took of the FE panel and the refueling panel....consisting of a CCTV screen, a few hose guillitine switches, and some pumps...the end.

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 10):
With a 156K to 160K fuel load depending on fuel density they got this thing maxed out, hate to see what happens on a abortive takeoff.

You ain't kidding. We were max gross out of Cecil (NZC/VQQ), 12,500 foot runway, middle of July...used all but the last 500 feet. An overrun in this bird wouldn't be pretty.

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 10):
a 707 can't transfer fuel from tank to tank in the air so they use the crossfeed manifold to refill the ctr wing tank using the overide pumps to keep fuel flow to the engines .

The FE will literally sit there for the whole flight and jockey the fuel switches. The fuel that goes out the tail came from that center tank too.

DeltaGuy
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