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The Kc-135 Stratotanker My Experiences

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Ok if you are a air re-fueler or something of the like for the armed forces, then you know what i am talking about. but for those of you who dont, this is what a KC-135 is (and a review according to my experiences).


Ok, to begin, a KC-135 is a large air refueling plane used mainly by the Air National Guard (US) or maybe by other countries, i am not quite sure. They are large, but not as big as a C-130 (that is a large cargo plane). The KC-135 is a large refueling plane used for long distance fueling. Recently, i had the priveledge to ride in one via an organization i am in.


The design of it is great, it has a side cargo door, and is able to carry cargo if needed. The internal height is about 7 feet high, with about a 13 foot width. its body is light weight in order to carry large amounts of fuel, it looks bare. an appropriate comparison is to a 707 passenger plane.


The boom, which is what the plane getting refueled attaches to, located at the back, is the farthest back thing. the boom can extend to about 15 feet and can move all around in order to accomodate for turbulance and other factors while flying. It is controlled by the Boom Operator that lays down on a platform type seat, like a small bed with a chin rest, with 2 other similar seats on either side. While flying, i had the opportunity to see them refueling in mid air and watch them connect and everything. let me tell you, it is quite a sight. next comes the Auxilar Power Unit (APU) and the oxygen supply. the APU is the generator on board, it starts off loud then quiets down. The oxygen supply is straight forward, it is a housing with about 20 oxygen tanks encased.


Next comes the crew/cargo area which obviously holds crew or cargo. It is compiled of a table with 4 cloth seats (they are pretty comfortable), and about 30-40 jumpseats (netted seats supported by metal bars, not that comfortable especially if you have a bar up your behind), then a bunch of cargo space. After the crew/cargo area, there is the latrines and the cockpit.


Now onto the cockpit. Its pretty large, it seats 5; 2 pilots, an small extra seat, a communications (com) area with a seat, and a power guy. for my flight we had the 2 pilots and a com guy. the cockpit is quite impressive, large circuit breakers, an amazing control panel and various other commodities. The control panel is set up like a commercial airline plane, but with a few more features. i had the honor of sitting in the seat by the circuit boards while landing, its awesome.


Now onto my review of the plane. its not like a critizizm or anything, just my thoughts.


The boom area was amazing, to see the planes connecting and refueling was beyond belief. it was set up like a video game, except in real life. when the plane was connected, it was like 48 feet apart, but it feels like 48 inches. all i can say is wow. it was completely unbelievable. the boom operator was a nice guy, funny and just cool.


The crew/cargo area was plain, it was, as i said before, barren and full of jump seats and a couple containers. not much to say about it except for the view from the windows. The view was breathtaking. you could see the wings and sometimes the ground (we were about 20-30 thousand feet up, it varies depending on our clearances). the view above the clouds in great, you can see how big they are, although most of them were flat, but there were some huge ones. then onto the front windows. from there, you could see the engines and most of the wings. that was a sight. huge engines and huge wings, sometimes they would flap like a bird's wings (this is normal, they are very large and extend out very far). i cant describe how amazing the view was.


Next is the cockpit. it was full of gadgets, screens and a whole compliation of other things. the pilots were funny and really experienced, making it an easy flight. like i said, i go to sit in the cockpit during the landing, that was like a roller coaster, but not in a bad way. it was sooooooooo cool. it was an amazing sight also. i seriously cant describe it, its just a thrilling feeling.


Now onto my feeling about the flight. well, the take off was great, i could see out the windows and everything, it was awesome. then once we got to cruise altitude, all there was to do was look at what the boom was like then stand around and check out the view. then i started to chll in the *BLEEP* pit and listen to the radio (as in communication radio, not the music one). that was fun for a while, but then came the exciting part, seeing the airplanes refuel, it was breathtaking. as i said, you were about 48 feet from the other plane, thats really close.


Well, those are my feelings about that, and i would love to try that again, which i probably will. i just had to describe how awesome it was and tell about my experiences. hope you liked them. below are pictures of the KC-135 and a C-130 to compare. By the way, i flew with the 128th air refueling division out of Wisconsin, USA.







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This is the Boom Operator area:


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The C-130:

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Edited by robocz033 (see edit history)

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