Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker
The Boeing KC -97 Stratotanker was an aerial refueling aircraft from American production, developed from the Boeing C- 97th The upper deck was able to absorb large amounts of cargo over a hatch in the left side panel or lead aviation fuel in the lower tank. Both deck levels were carried out as air-conditioned and pressurized cabin.
The U.S. Air Force began with the use of the KC -97 from 1951. March 15, 1951, Boeing was first B-47 refueled by a KC -97A. Starting in 1956, the machines were gradually replaced by the Boeing KC -135 because the difference in speed between the tanker and refueled combat aircraft was too large. The KC -97 had to fly almost at full speed, while the jet aircraft to be refueled had to slow almost to stall during the filling process. The KC -97 were then used as reserve machines of the U.S. Air Force and the Air National Guard. In 1973, the machines were finally retired. Overall, Boeing built 811 machines, including 219 as a KC- 592 KC- 97E and 97G with external auxiliary tanks. The KC -97 had four Pratt & Whitney R -4360 -59 engines with 3500 hp. They were powered by gasoline, while they mainly transported kerosene. The upgraded version of the G- KC- 97L also received two jet engines from General Electric J47 -GE -23 for improved flight performance at high altitudes.
The KC -97 was crucial for the Boeing B-47 missions in the early 1950s. As an example, the flights of the Arctic Thule Air Base on Greenland apply. The machines had to start at -40 ° C. The navigation of the machines in the Arctic winter required a high concentration.
A number of KC -97 survived until today. One of them, the Angel of Deliverance, flew for the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation and is still airworthy. Other machines are the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright - Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton (Ohio ), in the March Field Air Museum in Riverside (California ) and in the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte (North Carolina).