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'Good Riddance' to WC-135

Posted: Tue May 17, 2022 5:15 pm
by ssteve
https://taskandpurpose.com/culture/air- ... s-chariot/

several airmen who once flew WC-135 tail number 582 bid the old plane — nicknamed ‘Lucifer’s Chariot’ — good riddance and hoped it never left the ground again.

“I hope they chop you up into small bits that aren’t used for anything,” said Will Markham, a pilot who flew 582 from 2015 to 2019, a period which he described as “four terrible and terrifying years that aged me well beyond where I should be.”


At least some of the -135Bs with TF-33s are being replaced with converted -135Rs with CFM56.

Re: 'Good Riddance' to WC-135

Posted: Wed May 18, 2022 7:46 pm
by cpd
I wonder if these planes could be replaced by something a lot newer, like a 767?

Pretty crazy hanging on to such extremely old planes like this. Yes they can be kept running but at what costs, problems?

Re: 'Good Riddance' to WC-135

Posted: Wed May 18, 2022 8:50 pm
by TheSonntag
Just recently, both the 707 E-8 and the WC-135W were and are still spotted in Europe. And yes they are getting v e r y old. So are the E-3 AWACS.

Re: 'Good Riddance' to WC-135

Posted: Wed May 18, 2022 9:52 pm
by LyleLanley
cpd wrote:
I wonder if these planes could be replaced by something a lot newer, like a 767??


Short answer: yes, it’s more than possible. The wing pods are plumbed for power, as well as fuel…

Re: 'Good Riddance' to WC-135

Posted: Wed May 18, 2022 10:28 pm
by Newark727
I certainly understand why the people actually involved with operating the things would be happy to see them go after all this time, but I do find the wild menagerie of KC-135/C-137 variants in Air Force service to be pretty fascinating. They've used them for pretty much everything.

Re: 'Good Riddance' to WC-135

Posted: Thu May 19, 2022 6:12 am
by TheSonntag
I just wonder why some still retained the TF-33 engines while most others did not.

Are there any airworthy TF-33 KC-135s remaining, btw? Or are they all retired in the boneyard?

Re: 'Good Riddance' to WC-135

Posted: Thu May 19, 2022 10:01 am
by Buckeyetech
All of the TF-33 KC-135E models are gone. They started work on converting a few KC-135R’s to WC-135s.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/2020/0 ... 13211.html

Re: 'Good Riddance' to WC-135

Posted: Thu May 19, 2022 12:43 pm
by ssteve
Chile operates KC-135E from US, recently "bought" 3x AWACS E3-D from UK. Does make you wonder if the idea is to have a lot of hangar queens.

Re: 'Good Riddance' to WC-135

Posted: Thu May 19, 2022 1:49 pm
by LyleLanley
TheSonntag wrote:
I just wonder why some still retained the TF-33 engines while most others did not.

Are there any airworthy TF-33 KC-135s remaining, btw? Or are they all retired in the boneyard?


$$

The KC-135R reengine program was for active duty KC’s only, because of the way the funding was garnered and approved - “different pits of money”. RC’s, EC’s, WC’s, Guard/Reserve 135E’s, etc. fell under different pots and it was their PEM’s, program element manager, responsibility to advocate for separate reengine or buy-into the R model program.

The W’s clout in the Pentagon has always been minuscule, so it wasn’t converted.

Re: 'Good Riddance' to WC-135

Posted: Thu May 19, 2022 2:16 pm
by bikerthai
ssteve wrote:
Chile operates KC-135E from US, recently "bought" 3x AWACS E3-D from UK. Does make you wonder if the idea is to have a lot of hangar queens.


From wiki

E-3D
Production aircraft for the RAF to E-3C standard with CFM56 engines and British modifications designated Sentry AEW.1, 7 built.[50]


The E-7A that the UK are replacing the E-3 with also have CFM-56s, but probably newer variant.

bt

Re: 'Good Riddance' to WC-135

Posted: Thu May 19, 2022 3:18 pm
by Aaron747
This was my favorite quote...wow. :lol:

Moses said it forced everyone on board to bring their A game, and each flight became a challenge to “find new ways to fly an unsafe flight safely back to base.”

Re: 'Good Riddance' to WC-135

Posted: Thu May 19, 2022 9:02 pm
by ssteve
bikerthai wrote:
ssteve wrote:
Chile operates KC-135E from US, recently "bought" 3x AWACS E3-D from UK. Does make you wonder if the idea is to have a lot of hangar queens.


From wiki

E-3D
Production aircraft for the RAF to E-3C standard with CFM56 engines and British modifications designated Sentry AEW.1, 7 built.[50]



Thanks. Still a head-scratcher, but I guess we have a thread on that already!