|Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 3):|
I have a question as well; I'm not very familiar at all with the KC-135, so I don't mean to look dumb asking this, but why do they have a pogo stick at the back of the plane when its parked? Is the aircraft tail heavy?
Yes, the KC-135A/E/R is very tail heavy, not as much on the KC-135Q/T. Most of the extra tail weight was added after production of the airplane in the 1950s and 1960s. The Pacer Fin project installed a taller, heavier vertical stabizer, which is some 18" taller than the original fin, and added a powered rudder, which the original did not have. Also the "belly bands" added weight and incorproated some additional internal structures to strenghten the fuselage aft of the wing. Most of the cargo tie down chains, straps, and devices are stowed in boxes under the troop seats, aft of the wing. The gasious oxygen system is over the Boom Pod from its original placement just aft of the right overwing hatch. It was moved to facilitate the installation of the "live aboard kit". A second gasious system was added on top of this system to replace the LOX system in the lower nose compartment.
Of course the "R" and "T" mods added a second APU, which is near the Boom Pod.
The KC-135Q/T have less of an aft CG because they have some 850 lbs of ballest under the radar. The reason was to assure you would not land beyond the aft CG limit if all the body JP-7 fuel was offloaded to a SR-71, and they did not want you to transfer fuel from the centerwing tank forward as it carried JP-4 fuel and maintenance did not want the forward body fuel tank fuel comtaminated.
Most KC-135s also got "high speed Booms" after production, as opposed to the "low speed Boom" originally installed. The difference was a more stable Boom at higher airspeeds, and it was some 100 lbs heavier.
The tail stand is installed soon after landing by the Crew Chief. Sometimes the Boom Operator would offload the tail stand through the aft hatch to the Crew Chief on the ground, but most times the Crew Chief or Assistant Crew Chief would do that.