KC-135T Stratotanker walk around

The 171st ARW at Pittsburgh operates the KC-135T variant of the venerable Stratotanker, these aircraft among those formerly used for SR-71 support as KC-135Qs, carrying the exotic JP-7 fuel for the Blackbird in their fuselage tanks. After the SR-71’s retirement, the KC-135Qs were put through the KC-135R rebuilding program with CFM56 engines, but are still somewhat different from the standard R-model, with separate refueling ports for the wing and fuselage tanks, as well as a tail mounted searchlight.

Closeup of a KC-135T boom

KC-135T boom pod

KC-135T CFM56/F108 engines


Main landing gear side view

Photo: KC-135 59-1474 refueling a YF-12. Aviation Week & Space Technology September 6, 1971 front cover. This tanker survived an in-flight collision with an SR-71 over Texas in 1970.

KC-135R 58-0112


KC-135 Stratotanker Bibliography

Boeing C-135 Family  International Air Power Review Vol 10 Autumn/Fall 2003