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UltimateDelta
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KC-135 Tail Marking?

Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:02 pm

This is a fairly simple question and I haven't been able to find anything answering it yet: What was backwards-L-shaped marking on the port side of the vertical stabilizer on every C-135 variant? And furthermore, why did it disappear when the AMC gray paint scheme was introduced? It seems to appear on the natural, light gray, and lizard green schemes, regardless of model. Thanks for any information you've got!

This is what I'm referring to:
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Photo © leon witts

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Venus6971
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RE: KC-135 Tail Marking?

Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:53 pm

That used to be the area when we swung the vertical stab to remove the rudder on its side to provide a safe area to walk without damaging structure. There was one also on the top of the horizontal stabs.
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boeingfixer
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RE: KC-135 Tail Marking?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:40 pm

To add a bit more information to what venus6971 posted,.

Quoting UltimateDelta (Thread starter):
What was backwards-L-shaped marking on the port side of the vertical stabilizer on every C-135 variant?

These were markings indicating the safe to walk zone on the vertical stab while it was folded. The folding stab was designed into the C-135 due to existing production and maintenance facilities not having high enough hangars to fit the aircraft with the vertical stab, well, vertical.

This is nothing new to Boeing. The B-50, C-97/377, B-52 and B707/720 also had fins that could be folded for maintenance purposes.

Quoting UltimateDelta (Thread starter):
And furthermore, why did it disappear when the AMC gray paint scheme was introduced?

The only thing I can figure is that the fin was folded so rarely that the markings were irrelevant for normal maintenance purposes.

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zanl188
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RE: KC-135 Tail Marking?

Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:45 pm

Good thread. I always wondered what that marking was for. I even thought it looked like a "no step" marking but then thought "no, couldn't be" lol.

Would the vert fold on its own or was there additional hardware required?

Fin fold pix:

https://www.facebook.com/22ARW#!/photo.php?fbid=629067210437912&set=pb.136045629740075.-2207520000.1375746993.&type=3&theater

[Edited 2013-08-05 16:59:11]
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rc135x
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RE: KC-135 Tail Marking?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:10 am

Quoting boeingfixer (Reply 2):
The only thing I can figure is that the fin was folded so rarely that the markings were irrelevant for normal maintenance purposes.

Correct.
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Revelation
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RE: KC-135 Tail Marking?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:58 am

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 3):
Fin fold pix:

https://www.facebook.com/22ARW#!/photo.php?fbid=629067210437912&set=pb.136045629740075.-2207520000.1375746993.&type=3&theater

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UltimateDelta
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RE: KC-135 Tail Marking?

Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:42 pm

Quoting boeingfixer (Reply 2):
The only thing I can figure is that the fin was folded so rarely that the markings were irrelevant for normal maintenance purposes.

Makes sense.

Thanks so much for the info, everyone- you learn something new every day!
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windy95
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RE: KC-135 Tail Marking?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:06 am

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 3):
Would the vert fold on its own or was there additional hardware required?

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FSXJunkie
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RE: KC-135 Tail Marking?

Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:04 am

Quoting boeingfixer (Reply 2):
The only thing I can figure is that the fin was folded so rarely that the markings were irrelevant for normal maintenance purposes.

And AMC is not as anal about maintenance as SAC was, defacto rarity + longer rotation period between checks.

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