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61-0282

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61-0282 Boeing EC-135A NEACP / Stratotanker c/n 18189 / T0504 - United States Air Force - Mildenhall AFB, UK - 8 August 1980 Boeing 747-830

Structurally similar to the Boeing Model 707 commercial airliner, the Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker was the standard flight-refueling tanker of the U.S.A.. Strategic Air Command. The first KC-135A flew on 31 August 1956. Both the KC-135 and the Boeing 707 airliner were developed from the Boeing 367-80 prototype. Boeing gave the KC-135 tanker the initial designation Model 717. The KC-135A is the predominant variant of the C-135 Stratolifter family of transport aircraft. In addition to ist high-speed and high-altitude refeuling capabilities, the KC-135A served in the long-range transport role, carrying eigthy passengers or a 50.000 lbs caro-load on its upper deck, situated above the refueling system. However, the passenger seats were not really comfortable. Four turbofans, mounted under 35-degree swept wings, power the KC-135. Original the KC-135 was fitted with four Pratt and Whitney J57-P-59W turbojets. These noisy and fuel-guzzling engines were recognizable from a large distance at the takeoff by the plume of smoke behind the aircraft. In the 1980s the first modification program retrofitted 157 Air Force Reserve (AFRES) and Air National Guard (ANG) tankers with the Pratt & Whitney TF33-PW-102 turbofan engines from 707 airliners retired in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The modified tanker, designated the KC-135E, was 14% more fuel-efficient than the KC-135A and could offload 20% more fuel on long-duration flights. The KC-135E aircraft were equipped with thrust-reversers for aborted takeoffs and shorter landing roll-outs. The second modification program retrofitted over 500 airframes of the original KC-135As with new CFM-56 engines produced by CFM-International. The active KC-135E fleet was retrofitted as the R-model configuration. The re-engined tanker, designated either the KC-135R or KC-135T, can offload 50% more fuel, is 25% more fuel efficient, costs 25% less to operate and the nois levels at takeoff is reduced fron 126 to 99 decibels.
The KC-135 Stratotanker still provides the core aerial refueling capability for the United States Air Force and has excelled in this role for over 60 years, not only for the U.S.A.F. but also for the Navy, Marine Corps and allied nation aircraft. The primary task of the KC-135 is in-flight-air refuelling. Nearly all internal fuel can be pumped through the flying boom; the KC-135's primary fuel transfer method. One crewmember, known as the boom operator, is stationed in the rear of the plane and controls the boom during in-flight air refueling. The boom operator largely carries out the work lying on a large kind of gymnastics mat at the bottom of the rear of the aircraft whereby he through the special small windows at the bottom of rear tail has a good view on the flying boom and the approaching aircraft to be refueled. A special shuttlecock-shaped drogue attached to and trailing behind the flying boom may be used to refuel aircraft fitted. In the tailfin, two LED lamps have been fitted to illuminate the operation behind the plane.

Boeing EC-135A NEACP / Strototanker "61-0282" was built in 1961 as KC-135A-BN Stratotanker s/n 10189 l/n 504 and flown first on 9 January 1962 and on 12 February 1962 taken on strength/Charge with the United States Air Force. In June 1962, the "61-0282" was converted to an EC-135A NEACP (National Emergency Airborne Command Post). From October 1972 to July 1991 the "61-0282" was operated by 10th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, an United States Air Force unit that flew airborne command post aircraft from RAF Mildenhall, England. In June 1989, the Boeing EC-135A NEACP / Stratotanker was modified and re-engined, this time into Boeing EC-135H NEACP / Stratotanker s/n 10189 / T0504. In 1991, the aircraft went to Sheppard AFB, Texas, where it was converted to a GEC-135H ground instructional trainer. In April 2010, the fuselage went to the USAF Medical Readiness Training Center, Camp Bullis, San Antonio.
On 8 August 1980, Boeing EC-135A NEACP / Stratotanker '10282' of the USAFE - 10th Airborne Command and Control Squadron was seen at RAF Mildenhall in the UK.

page last updated 06-02-2021
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands
 

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