“KC-10 and KC-135 Boom Operators” vintage style poster art by – Squadron Posters!
KC-10 and KC-135 Boom Operators
KC-10 and KC-135 Boom Operators poster art: “The World’s Rear View Mirror, objects are closer than they appear”.
So you’re flying at 410 MPH and 20,000 ft and you get a low fuel light…unfortunately you can’t just pull over to the nearest gas station. But, wait! If only someone invented a flying gas station, I mean, it would be a nightmare from an engineering standpoint. Even worse, the pilots would have to be insane to make two aircraft, hurtling through clouds, touch each other long enough to pass explosive jet fuel between their gas tanks. A more important question would be; who in the world would operate the gas pump? They would have to fly some sort of gas-nozzle-flying-contraption while facing backwards to make this impossible feat happen. Ladies and gentleman this act happens everyday and has been perfected by the US Military and those fearless, flying gas stations are primarily the US Air Force KC-135 and KC-10 tankers. The “Boom Operators” actually hand fly the boom connecting the two aircraft to get rid of your pesky low fuel light. A grateful nation thanks you for all you do to Keep our aircraft flying!
In the USAF the position of “Boom Operator” is a position held by an enlisted aviator, (rank Airman Basic through Chief Master Sergeant) who is responsible for safely and effectively refueling other aircraft while in flight. The official Air Force title for boom operators is “In-Flight Refueling Technician”.