KC-135 Stratotanker fun facts
Published December 27, 2007
DID YOU KNOW THAT THE KC-135E STRATOTANKER:
-Is made of more than 50% aluminum by weight, and 10% steel and stainless steel. Other metals include magnesium and titanium.
-contains material in the eight main landing gear wheels and nose wheels equivalent to 100 automobile tires
-is constructed with almost 500,000 rivets. The installed cost of these rivets range from $.14 to $1.50 a piece.
-has approximately 5,000 wires, totaling 14 ½ miles in length in its electrical system.
-had about 45% of its airframe weight subcontracted to firms located in each of the 50 states. Included were 3,800 small businesses (employing fewer than 500 persons each) supplying parts or assemblies to BOEING, in Renton, Washington.
-was designed for "optimum maintenance under field conditions". This means that practically every cable run, electronic module, and mechanical component is accessible through doors and panels provided just for that purpose.
-has brakes that, under normal landing conditions, are capable of absorbing enough energy to simultaneously stop 432 automobiles traveling at 50 MPH. Under full braking conditions, these brakes would stop 975 automobiles.
-has 23 windows- nearly all of which are heated electrically or with hot air to prevent fogging. The cockpit windows are specially heated to prevent icing. This window heat would be sufficient to heat a 7-room home comfortably. The cockpit has 11 windows: 5 windows on the pilot's side, 5 on the copilot's side, 1 nose gear inspection window, (and 2 that are not counted, the celestial windows, which are removed). The boom pod has 3 windows. The cargo area has 9 windows, 2 over the wing hatch, 2 in the aft cargo area, a left and right main gear inspection window, and 3 fuel vent inspection windows. (Thanks to Ed Lowden for the info!)
-has a cargo area easily capable of holding a bowling alley, with enough room left over for a gallery of spectators. The cargo area is almost 11 feet wide, 86 feet long and 7 feet high: the equivalent of 220 automobile trunks.
-consist of four Pratt & Whitney TF-33 fan-jet engines, each weighing 6,100 pounds, and capable of developing 18,000 pounds of thrust. At 60 degrees Fahrenheit and full throttle, each engine consumes 10,250,000 cubic feet of air per hour. This is the equivalent of that contained in a building 300 feet long, 100 feet wide and 34 stories tall.
-are lubricated by an on-board 92-gallon oil supply, an amount equivalent to 75 car crankcases.
-generate enough electricity to supply all the power needs of 35 average homes
-is highly integrated and inter-connected network of fuel lines and fuel cells, containing 50 valves and 15 pumps to guide the fuel flow and pass tons of fuel in minutes for air refueling work.
-carries enough fuel on a single flight to take a 40 MPG sub-compact car a distance of 1,248,000 miles on "one filling".
-in some instances utilizes fuel cells made of nylon fabric less than 1/16 of an inch thick. A fuel cell weighing 80 pounds will hold 7 tons of fuel. In the wing tanks, the fuel is pumped directly into the wings, filling nearly the entire wing structure.
-transfers enough fuel through the refueling boom in one minute to operate the average family car for more than one year.
-transfer more fuel in 8 minutes than a gas station could pump in 24 hours.
-can actually tow a fighter along while hooked up for a refueling, at 500 MPH.
-carries the refueling boom operator in a position only about 20 feet from the cockpit of the aircraft being fueled.