Air International 1987-03
D.Brown - Exercising with the Extender
The KC-10A, uniquely among existing tanker aircraft, was designed from the start to be able to refuel - without modification and on a single mission, other aircraft using either the flying-boom or probe-and-drogue method. The two systems are seen in use here, with receiving aircraft an AV-8B Harrier II
Aircraft of the 9th Air Refueling Squadron at March AFB, where the KC-10A first entered service in 1982
The KC-10A Extender in the original SAC scheme of overall grey and white, with blue trim
A McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extender from the 9th Air Refueling Squadron, USAF, based at March AFB, Calif.
The now-standard overall drab charcoal finish with white undersides.
One of the Extenders is seen in flight. The band round the mid-fuselage is the Strategic Air Command sash, but this as well as the command and unit crests and the US flag on the tail have been sacrificed with the adoption of the low-visibility finish that is now standard for the KC-10A.
Close-up of the boom operator’s position in the KC-10A. showing the aft-facing window and the drogue in the stowed position on the starboard side.
The KC-10A that flew as "Tent 36” for the mission described in this article, operated by the 79th Air Refueling Squadron, an Air Force Reserve unit.
A cockpit view of the KC-10A "Tent 36 ”. The boom operator has a wide angle window and mirrors to view the receiver aircraft as it approaches for contact.
KC-10A "Tent 35”, with AIR International’s representative on board, approaches the Boeing KC-135A "Jammer 42”.
McDonnell-Douglas KC-10A Extender