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KC-135 Stratotankers Almost Kiss Each Other, Surrounded by Tiny Humans

Ever since the days of the Korean War, the American Air Force was gifted with the ability to refuel its fighter jets mid-air and on a large scale, thanks to a wonderful, new breed of machines that came to be known as tankers.
KC-135 Stratotankers 7 photos
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There are several such flying tanks of fuel operated by the USAF at the moment, but one of the oldest is the KC-135. Made by Boeing since all the way back in the mid-1950s, it still flies in the skies of the modern world, refueling aircraft that was not even imagined as possible in the years following the Second World War.

In all, Boeing made some 732 of these planes since inception, 600 of which were still in service in the 1990s. We even got to see one recently, sitting on a runway shortly after having refueled F-22 Raptors during the jets’ dissimilar air combat training over Florida.

Also on the tarmac are the two KC-135s shown in the main photo of this piece. We are not being told what unit they’re deployed with, but we do know they were captured on camera, looking absolutely massive next to crowds of people lining up to see them, on the runway of the Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the beginning of August.

The planes were on the ground there taking part in the Utah Air National Guard’s Wingman Day, and were flaunting communication, mission computing and sensor technologies developed by Collins Aerospace.

For us, seeing them from above, here in our Photo of the Day section, the Stratotankers show the entire might of their 297,000 pounds (134,717 kg) gross weight, but also that of the four turbofan engines that power the massive machines to speeds of up to 580 mph (933 kph).

 
 
 
 
 

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