Re: KC-135R vs. A *was* DC-8s in service; no 707s?

Date:         13 Feb 97 01:37:42 
From: (Gary McKinnis)
Organization: CCnet Communications (510-988-7140 guest)
References:   1 2 3 4
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>Louis A. Ramsay <> wrote in article
>>      I think another consideration in re-engining the B-707 was the
>> height of the existing engine off the ground.  You can't add much more
>> engine diameter to a 707 before the lower part of the cowling will be
>> rubbing on the ground and, face it, the new engines are quite a bit
>> bigger in diameter.

For those who don't know, the KC-135R is the KC-135A, with CFM56 engines
replacing the J57s.  A year or two after the "R" entered USAF service, I
spoke to an "R" pilot who had flown his plane into Mather AFB (RIP), for a
static display.  He said that the biggest operational concern he had with
the "R" vs. the "A" was that the huge nacelles on the "R" dictated a
significantly lower crosswind component during landings.  On the *plus*
side 8-), he was very pleased with the extra power and the much shorter
runway requirements.

During the same visit, a couple of boom operators related stories of a
couple of "R" ground mishaps.  It seems that ground crews were used to
walking around the inlets of running J57s with impunity.  That habit
quickly changed after a ground crewman was sucked into a CFM56 running at
full power, during a ground test.  The problem was that he was *not*
walking near the engine; he was apparently lined up even with the nose of
the aircraft when the suction got hold of him and his jacket.

The second story had to do with USAF maintenance truck operations near
aircraft with running engines.  With the "A", it was OK to park a van
behind the airplane, just past the tail, but in the line of sight of the
jet blast.  That habit stopped after a van was blown over during a ground
run-up of the CFM56s on an "R".