which was the real version of the KC135 tanker for SR-71?

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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stuarthwyman

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Unread post16 Oct 2007, 16:09

I know the KC135 was the Q to refuel the Habu, but i would like to know if it was a sub version of the Q, to flyng... and to do that work!

I've read was KC135Qs
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Guysmiley

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Unread post16 Oct 2007, 18:23

The Qs were converted from A models. The re-engined Qs became KC-135Ts.
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SixerViper

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Unread post16 Oct 2007, 20:23

I'm not a tanker guy, but I am pretty sure that the A, E, and R models can use all the gas the plane holds for its own engines. I'm equally pretty sure that the Q and T models have separate systems for ownship fuel and transfer fuel and that they are not interconnected in any way. That makes sense to me since the JP-7 for the Blackbird won't burn in a standard jet engine.
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Guysmiley

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Unread post16 Oct 2007, 22:01

That's exactly correct, the changes made in the Q/T versions were to keep the tanking gas separate from the aircraft's own fuel. IIRC the Q also got some special gadgets to allow for silent rendezvous with the Blackbirds.
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stuarthwyman

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Unread post17 Oct 2007, 10:33

I know there are some versions of KC135 like you say before, the Q was a version that go straight just to '95, but the Habu (blackbird), stop to flight in the '89... two models of that tha A and B, still flyng to the '99 in the NASA...
But the Q-model for the Habu was 56.
The model of the KC135 tanker for the SR71 was the KC135Q or a sub versione of the KC135Q...

I,ve senn in this site infact that the tanker for Habu was KC135/Qs:
"This was because they had to meet up with on of the KC-135/Qs to top off their gas tank prior to climbing to altitude."
http://www.wvi.com/~sr71webmaster/psd01.html
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stuarthwyman

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Unread post17 Oct 2007, 14:40

exactly I would like to Know if possible if Q"s" is for to indicate the plural of moro airplane"s" ore the specially model
KC-135 "qs" the single one...

Thank you
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Elliboom

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Unread post17 Oct 2007, 15:11

It's been 15 years since I worked on a Q model, but here is what I can remember from Tech school. I was in the last FTD class at Beale back in 1992 and we worked on the Q models everyday.

The Air Force modified 91 KC-135A's to Q models in the mid to late 60's. 56 of these were considered full Q's which had fuel system modifications and also communication system mod's to better link up with the SR-71, while 35 of these were called partial Q's which only had the fuel system modifications.

The Q model also had two SPR nozzles, one in each wheel well. There was also a special valve that I think was called the manual refuel valve or something like that, anyway that was the valve that seperated the two fuel systems from each other. We would refuel the airplane based on what mission is was performing. If it was going to AR the blackbird then we would seperate the fuel systems, and put JP-7 in the body tanks using the SPR in the right hand wheel well, and put JP-4 in the wing tanks using the SPR in the left wheel well. It was then called a dirty Q. If it was going out on a normal AR mission we would have to put some JP-4 in the body tanks then defuel the tanks to rinse the JP-7 out of the tanks, then open the isolation valve to connect the two fuel systems then we could refuel the airplane using just the right SPR as on a normal -135. So the Q model could indeed burn fuel out of both fuel systems, but only if the isolation valve was open before flight. The nice thing about having 2 SPR's was that if we were going to a large fuel load we could hook up 2 trucks to the airplane at the same time.

The Q model also had some ballast in the nose area to account for the fact that the Co-pilot could not maintain the normal CG of the airplane since the Q model did not have the ability to drain the wing tanks into the Aft body tank like a normal -135.

I don't really remember what type of communications mod's the Q model had, but I do remember that it had a spot light in the bottom part of the tail that could be aimed by the boom operator using a china hat switch on the boom control stick.

Now to add even more confusion to the mix, when the Q models got the CFM-56 engines the became the KC-135T, which should not be confused with the KC-135RT. The KC-135 RT airplanes have a refueling recepticle so that they can be a receiver. There are not many of these in service, and they are all at McConnell AFB. All of these aircraft started life as KC-135A's were later converted to EC-135's and then converted back to tankers, but maintained the ability to be a reciever.

That's about all I remember about the Q model, I hope this helps.
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stuarthwyman

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Unread post17 Oct 2007, 18:58

Ellibum thank you very much for your answer, do you remember exactly for the singol one how was called the version that refuel the Habu?
KC135Q or
KC135QS
????
Thank you first

"The Air Force modified 91 KC-135A's to Q models in the mid to late 60's. 56 of these were considered full Q's which had fuel system modifications and also communication system mod's to better link up with the SR-71, while 35 of these were called partial Q's which only had the fuel system modifications. "
This was a big help, because i understend that ofcourse it need to geeve 2 versione to the Q!
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Unread post17 Oct 2007, 19:50

"KC-135Q" and "KC-135T" are the versions. I don't know how much clearer it can be, English grammar can be tough (obviously). The "s" indicates plural (as in more than one) or with an apostrophe (as in "'s") it indicates ownership.
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Elliboom

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Unread post17 Oct 2007, 20:35

Guy smiley is correct, Q/T and that's it. There is no sub version for the Q model, now the R model is a different story thanks to the many avionics updates they have been recieving the past few years.
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stuarthwyman

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Unread post18 Oct 2007, 16:24

Thank you! Elliboom in the case of the 91 models turned in KC135Q, the 56 for the habu, the others 35 witch was the use thay have had?
Because some pilot of the KC135Q tell that after they refuel also the F-117, so i'm courious to know it!
Taknk you a lot for your past answer.
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Elliboom

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Unread post18 Oct 2007, 22:28

All 91 were used to refuel the SR-71, the only difference was that the partial Q's could not meet up with them as easy during a radio silent situation. As far as refueling the F-117 goes they all can refuel any airplane all you have to do is connect the fuel systems together and purge the JP-7 out of it like I explained above. Then it is operated just like any other -135. You have to remeber that the Q models are still flying as T models and refuel jet every day for the Air Force. But there was no way to refuel the SR-71 and another type of airplane on the same flight because the -135 can only transfer fuel out of the Forward and AFT body tanks, and those tanks would be full of JP-7 if it had refueled a SR-71. That is what I tried to explain above with the Dirty vs. clean Q explanation.
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stuarthwyman

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Unread post19 Oct 2007, 08:01

Thank you very much! What i would like to explain you is that for theese questions, i made you, there is a discussion whith an italian "expert" that told me:
- The "Q", was born for the SR71
- The "Q" as non variants or no special variants
- The "Q", deads with radiation of the SR71

But if SR-71 was radiated in the '89 from the USAF, the Q still flyng to '95, othermore the NASA recall back in service for tec-demonstrator the HABU, just to 1999 with two exemplares:
- the SR71A
- the SR71B for training

I've read that evry time the SR71 take off need offcourse to refuel after few minuts, becouse he lost the fuel from is tanik and the fuselage for trues beetwenn to congiunture of the panel of the surfaces....

This person, tell me also that in NASA they never need of refueling in their missions...

Thank you enough very much for your explanation
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Unread post19 Oct 2007, 09:51

Yep, the "Q" was actually first made for the A-11 and A-12 Oxcart aircraft - the older brothers of the SR-71s :wink: . Basically, it differed from the normal 135 in that it could have a separate fuel supply for the receiving aircraft from its own fuel supply.

The "Q" models are now "T" models - the difference is that the "T" models have newer engines. These are still flying for the U.S. Air Force. These can function as "normal" KC-135s because the fuel for the receiving aircraft and the KC-135's own fuel can be joined if necessary - acting just like a "normal" KC-135.

stuarthwyman wrote:I've read that evry time the SR71 take off need offcourse to refuel after few minuts, becouse he lost the fuel from is tanik and the fuselage for trues beetwenn to congiunture of the panel of the surfaces....

This person, tell me also that in NASA they never need of refueling in their missions...


Well, the SR-71 leaked - A LOT :wink: ! Usually they took off with a light fuel load and refueled shortly after, but that wasn't necessary - it was just better for the mission profile for the aircraft to be topped off prior to going a long distance. NASA missions probably didn't need inflight refueling because they weren't flying long distances.

About that leaking, here's part of a great article:

http://www.blackbirds.net/u2/c_bennett/bbird-03.html

Christopher W. Bennett wrote:You've probably heard the SR-71 is a severe leaker, and I'll try to put this into perspective. Once LN2 is serviced a few hours prior to launch, the fuel system becomes pressurized, and that's when the real leaks start. Normally, about five or six steady fuel leaks (about the width of a drinking straw) show up coming from both inboard wings, falling about six feet to the ground. The entire bottom of the fuselage becomes wet, and starts dripping onto the hanger floor. Some puddling starts to accumulate on top of the inboard wings, and at times runs off the wing onto the floor. In some bad leakers, fountains can be seen spraying upward from the top of the inboard wings, ranging anywhere from two inches to three feet in height. Usually, the really bad leaks occur when the aircraft is getting close to being sent to the Depot for an overhaul. How much fuel is actually lost prior to flight? It was a common practice to refuel the aircraft about four or five hours prior to flight. It was also standard to place about four to seven hundred pounds of JP-7 extra in the tanks to allow for this leakage. That's a loss of about one hundred pounds or sixteen gallons per hour. And folks, that's just for a standard fuel load. At times, due to lack of tankers, we would put considerably more fuel onboard, and launch her on a "rocket ride". When we did this, you could basically double the amount of leaks I've described. Why all the leaks? High temperature fuel sealant was especially designed for the SR-71, and there's no other substance known in existence to replace it. Once the aircraft is as cruise speeds, it tends to seal itself. The leaks I've spoken of do not jeopardize the safety of the aircraft, due to the high flash point of JP-7. In fact, a lit match thrown into it would just go out. Up until the late 80's, the fuel leaked was simply washed out of the hanger after the launch, and went into the ground. Due to environmental laws towards the end of the program, we started to catch the fuel in drip pans, dispose of it properly, and vacuum the residual from the floor. You could always pick out the guys who had participated in a launch. They smelled like JP-7, there hair was sticky looking, and fuel stains covered their uniforms. Many guys wore rain suits to eliminate this problem. Believe it or not, a half can of Coke added to the wash removed all the stains and smells from the clothing.


Another great source of Blackbird info is www.roadrunnersinternationale.com - these are the guys who made it all happen :thumb: !

Hope this helps 8) !
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www.parrotheadjeff.com
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stuarthwyman

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Unread post19 Oct 2007, 10:35

Thankyou Parrothead
...in some NASA mission they made also normal in-flight refuel? Not only for excercitation?
Also have you read what Elliboom that very clearly had write?
There was two kind of "Q": dirty and clean or, full and partial!
That's what I mean.
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