USAF Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker Air Refueling Documentary 1960s


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The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker was launched into service as an aerial refueling aircraft for the US Air Force in the 1950s, as a pre curser to the launch of the Boeing 707 jetliner in the passenger market. Given that the type 60 years later is still one of the mainstay refueling aircraft in the US military, it is a fabulous testament to the impressive capabilities of this amazingly reliable aircraft.

In the mid-1960s, when the KC-135 fleet was already coming up on a decade of service with the US Air Force, this fantastic all-colour educational and promotional film was made by the USAF Strategic Air Command to promote the virtues of the aircraft. Although mostly used as an inflight tanker, the KC-135 is also used for hauling passengers and cargo, as well as an airborne command post.

As an interesting aside, the film references the KC-135 refueling flight that took a group of USAF F106s from the US across the Pacific over to Korea in the aftermath of the Pueblo incident. Which was not possible using earlier prop driven aircraft.

Sgt. Novak, a boom operator on the KC-135 takes us for a very interesting tour on the aircraft, during an inflight refueling sortie with USAF B-52. The film presents lots of exterior footage of aircraft. One of the highlights of the movie is a round table discussion between several KC-135 crew members that share interesting stories about their experiences with the aircraft.

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