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KC-97 repaint

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by MarkPDX, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. MarkPDX

    MarkPDX F1 World Champ
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    #1 MarkPDX, Mar 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
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  3. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ

    Feb 16, 2003
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    The clad is probably done on those skins anyway, not much to polish.
     
  4. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    Nov 29, 2003
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    The finish doesn't look too bad on that 58 year old airplane. I think that a brief polish and a clear coat would look a lot better than one of those dull silver paint jobs. My first job as an production illustrator was in 1952 working on the then new KC-97G wiring and tubing installations. I can't believe the progress that has been made since then through the next project, the 367-80 then the 707, 727, 737,747, 767, and my last project job, the 777. I worked on the advanced versions of the 747 that now have appeared as the 747-8 with better engines and new structural technology. Ugh! I'm mentally wandering around again. Sorry but as Rosanne Rosanadana said, " If it isn't one thing it's two."...always sumpthin.
     
  5. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    One of the biggest disappointments in my flying career was on the day we were scheduled to refuel on one of the last KC-97 missions at Cannon AFB in 1975/76 when I was a 1st Lt. With our F-111Ds, we had to use 15 degrees of flaps and either near mil power or one engine in min AB to refuel because we were behind the power curve and at high AoA during the entire refueling because of the low airspeed.

    The KC-97 would be at max power on all four recips and the two turbines, and we would be nearly there too on the two turbo-fans, with our aircraft ready to fall out of the sky. Got worse as refueling progressed and our aircraft got heavier and even more nose high.

    We spent quite a bit of time talking to the old heads who had done it before and memorizing all the parameters in the Dash One. So a normal take-off and first part of the rejoin, but as the throttle was retarded as we apporoached close formation, bang, an engine compressor stalled. In that timeframe, the TF-30 P100s were still having teething problems, and the rules said if you had a compressor stall, even if it recovered, which ours did, you had to abort. We did, so I never got to refuel from a KC-97.

    In those days, the Guard took really good care of their aircraft, and the KC-97s were really brightly polished aluminum on a large part of the aircraft. Must have taken a ton of Never-Dull, because that was a pretty big aircraft.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  6. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    Sounds just like the refueling procedure with B-58's and SR-71's when gassing up from from the KC-135's.......
     
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  8. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    KDS- We never used flaps with the KC-135s, but if loaded with bombs in an F-111A/E with the small engines, we frequently had to have one engine in burner, especially if the altitude was much over 20,000'. You would put one engine in min AB and leave it alone, and refuel modulating the thrust on the other engine. Too difficult to modulate an engine in AB during refueling.

    Lowering refueling altitude helped with the lifties. The "D"s had fewer problems with 20klbst vs 18klbst engines, and the "F"s no problem with 25klbst.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  9. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ

    Feb 16, 2003
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    I hadn't realized they were still running 97's past the early 60's. I thought they were completely eclipsed by the 135's ASAP for the reasons you describe.
     
  10. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Spasso- They survived quite late, suprisingly, but while I was at Cannon, the Tacos (150th TFG NMANG) were still flying Huns and transitioning to SLUFs (A-7Ds) and a Carswell unit was still flying Thuds (D models, there were still plenty of F-105Gs in 1975/6 at George and Spang). We were pathfinders for the Thuds at a pre-Red Flag exercise in our F-111D. Remember, that was almost 35 years ago. Makes me feel old.

    The Texas and Utah ANG KC-97Ls were not retired until 1978. We built 888 C-97s, over 800 of which were converted to KC-97s.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  11. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    In late 1950's I heard a big recip coming at our house in full boost. We lived just east of Lake Washington and north of Renton then. I ran out the front door in time to see a KC-97 coming in low while it was hooked up to a B-47 that was very near stall. I could see it wobbling in a nose up angle as they went over the house at something less than a thousand feet. They were heading south toward the lake and the Kent Valley. I never knew what happened or why they were so low while refueling. A week later I was on the ramp at Boeing Field and saw a B-47 come in with 10 feet of boom sticking out of the receptacle and a completely messed up canopy. The landing was more of an out of control impact with the airplane bouncing and careening all over the rough on the edge of the runway and ending up stopped just short of the blast fence along the ramp. Obviously a refueling mishap...again. Those were the days before the testing was done at Edwards and we saw some wild and wooly incidents at Boeing Field. I remember seeing a B-47 take off with a Rascal missile mounted on its side belching a long stream of fire and then have one return to do a beautiful chandelle over Beacon Hill after a high speed low level pass. In 1952 when I was a mechanic working on RB-50's we witnessed one of the RB's that wasn't going to make it as it took off to the north and performed a snap roll at 500 feet and went into the apartment houses next to the Rainier Brewery. Woodruff Keys omitted in the propellor blade pitch control motors allowed the props to go into full feather under full power on number three and number four. It was strange to see four thick exhaust trails with the airplane going sideways to the right and finally stalling under full power. The I-5 freeway now passes over the point where it hit and wiped out the Lester Apartments.
    Sorry if I got carried away .
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  13. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Bob- We learned a lot about refueling from those early jet days. One technique is called a tobaggan and involves the tanker at max speed and descending to make it easier on the receiver aircraft using the low thrust engines of the good old days. Disconnect, climb back up to altitude, and do it again until the receiver aircraft was full or the pilot no longer wanted to play. Early heavyweight B-52s before the H model and all B-47s, as well as early fighers with full fuel/bomb loads used the same techniques. The early F-111s, with no lifties from wing loadings above 100 lbs/sq ft and low T/W, also used the technique when loaded with up to 12Klbs of bombs.

    Accident rates have decreased dramatically from the late 40s, early-mid 50s, where 150 Class "A"s per 100,000 flying hours were not uncommon. The rate the last time I looked was less than 2. We killed a lot of aircrew members during the Cold War, both aircrew error and aircraft failure. For the last 20 years, it has been aircrew error causing the most fatalities.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  14. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    Thanks Terry, that is info that I never knew but then I wasn't anything but a mechanic or illustrator and didn't have the real story. It is very interesting to know what the guys did to adjust to a less than good arrangement in the refueling game. The 367-80 and its offspring the KC-135 was such a huge jump in tanker progress that KC-97 was soon extinct. When I was working on the RB-50's in '50-52 we didn't realize how important they were in the Cold War and soon knew when the Russians shot several of them down. We recognized the type of aircraft when the Pentagon announced how many crew went down with them...15 men. That program had the top priority in the nation and I never worked so much overtime ever, 12 hours per day except Saturday and Sunday. I was a shuffling zombie in three weeks and it went on for 6 months.
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  15. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Bob- It was rough on all the early ISR aircraft. No satellite communications, no defensive armament (unarmed and scared spitless), and only an HF radio to try and let anyone know what was happening. HF radios were highly dependent on atmospheric conditions and only had true intercontinental capability at night when the upper atmosphere reformed after being beat to death by the sun during daylight hours. Even then, not reliable. While flying back from missions in Iraq, I used an HF link several times for phone calls back to the States. Did not work all the time, though. Major storms could shut down the long wavelengths pretty well.

    So many things we take for granted now were not even pipe dreams in the 50s and 60s. Brave men a long way from home, and with little chance of survival if attacked.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  16. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    Taz,I have never been able to live with the acquiesence of our government when so many of our airmen were killed then. I think that I remember 5 of the RB-50's shot down in the 50's and early 60's without a word being said OR anything being awarded to those who lost their lives in these missions. Those airplanes were crammed with radar equipment that pushed the envelope at the time. Five operators were in the space that used to be the forward bombay and there were four or five in the rear section aft of the aft bombay in which there was a 2600 gallon droppable fuel tank. All the turrets were still on the airplane and armed but I guess they were ordered not to use them. After the RB-50's I worked on the XB-52 and YB-52 and KC-97G. This country had it put together then and did some wonderful things. Enter the KC-135.
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  17. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    #14 Kds, Mar 30, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
    It was a refueling accident during a Chrome Dome patrol that caused the 1966 Palomares incident as well (one B-52 and a KC-135 lost) where the USAF had to recover the clip of B28's that fell over Spanish territory.
     
  18. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    KDS- One of the WSOs in my squadron, the 522 TS, at Cannon AFB, had the misfortune of being the disaster preparedness officer of the unit that lost the bomb. He was only a 1Lt, and disaster preparedness was usually a nothing job in the 1960s. In his case, he ended up talking directly to flag officers who were not too thrilled. He said they had stakes in every tomato field in that part of Spain, all of which had been searched twice for the one missing bomb. The others were all quickly found.

    As you probably know, a local fisherman had told someone exactly where the bomb had fallen in the bay, but whoever interviewed him blew it off. They later talked to him again, and divers found the bomb right where he said it was.

    That incident ended alert aircraft flying with live nuclear weapons. They are now moved only by transport aircraft, under two-man control. At least that was the case before the BUFF showed up at Barksdale with live ACMs.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     

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