When it comes to supplying the receiver aircraft, the KC-135 Stratotanker boom continues to be extremely efficient.
The fascinating time-lapse video in this post was captured during Rim of the Pacific 2016, the largest international maritime exercise in history. It features four American F-22 Raptors from the 199th Fighter Squadron and the active duty 19th Fighter Squadron receiving fuel from a KC-135R Stratotanker from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
It is noteworthy that the KC-135 refueling boom, created by Boeing when it first built the KC-135 fleet in the 1950s and early 1960s, depends on hydraulic-mechanical infrastructure to carry out its job. The Stratotanker boom is still quite efficient at transferring gas to the receiver aircraft, though. Despite using a fly-by-wire electronic control system, the refueling boom of the more recent Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas) KC-10A Extender can still transfer 1,100 gallons of fuel per minute, which is just somewhat more than the 1,000 gallons per minute that the KC-135 boom can handle.
Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), which took place from June 30 to August 4 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California, involved 26 countries, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel. RIMPAC offers a special training opportunity that aids participants in developing and maintaining the cooperative connections necessary to guarantee the security of the world’s seas and the safety of shipping channels. The 25th exercise in the series that started in 1971 was RIMPAC 2016.
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gregory A. Harden II / U.S. Navy