Air International 2021-03
B.Taghvaee - Adieu to France's Stratotankers
471/31-CB is one of 10 C-135FRs of the French Air Force, seen here with a pair of Rafale Bs of EC 1/4 ‘Gascogne’ and a Mirage 2000-5F of EC 1/2 behind it during rehearsal of Bastille Military Day parade on July 9, 2020
A Rafale B and a Mirage 2000N, both armed with Air-Sol Moyenne Portee (ASMP) nuclear air-launched cruise missiles, refuel from a C-135FR of GRV 2/91 ‘Bretagne’ in 2019
471/31-CB, a C-135FR of the ERV 4/31 ‘Sologne’ landing at BA125 Istres
The C-135FR fleet played an important role during the war in Afghanistan. Two C-135FRs were always on deployment at Manas airport in Kyrgyzstan. Here is one of them, with 737 serial number, under maintenance on May 5, 2007
The farewell ceremony for 475 at BA125 Istres. The Air Division General, Patrice Boisjot, second in command of the Strategic Air Force, is in the foreground, while the first C-135FR of the French Air and Space Force, withdrawn from service on October 6, 2020, is in the background
Captain Emily is one of three female Stratotanker pilots of the ERV 4/31 ‘Sologne'. She had opportunity to be one of the pilots who flew the 475 for last time before its retirement
A water salute for 475 after its final mission in Niamey air base during Operation Barkhane on September 8, 2020
C-135FR with serial number 471 and code 31-CB, alongside a pair of Rafale Bs of the EC 1/4 ‘Gascogne’ over BA113 Saint-Dizier during the air parade to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the foundation of French Strategic Air Forces Command on October 4, 2019
One of two Cobham Mk.32B inflight refuelling pods of the C-135FR, which was retired from service on October 6, 2020
471/31-CB with bare and polished aluminium and metal surfaces just a few days after delivery to the French Air Force in 1964
472/31-CC under maintenance in the hangar of the Specialised Technical Support Squadron 15/93 in BA125 Istres on December 17, 2019. It became the first Stratotanker to receive ERV 4/31 ‘Sologne’ badge on its vertical stabiliser
The Boom Drogue Adapter kit with MA3 coupling, installed on the refuelling boom of 475
Twelve passenger seats and two stretchers had been installed in the cargo cabin of 475/31-CF when it was retired on October 6, 2020