KC-135 minutiae (was: MD-95-30 becomes 717-200 "Regional Jet")

Date:         24 Jan 98 02:53:35 
From:         westin*nospam@graphics.cornell.edu (Stephen H. Westin)
Organization: Program of Computer Graphics -- Cornell University
References:   1 2 3 4
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kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz) writes:
> I'm only vaguely familiar with the KC-135E -- was it a modification,
> like the KC-135R?  If so, the same would apply.

>From the Air Force Fact Sheet,
<http://www.af.mil:80/news/factsheets/KC_135_Stratotanker.html>,

 The KC-135A's are being modified with new CFM-56 engines produced by
 CFM-International. The re-engined tanker, designated the KC-135R, can
 offload 50 percent more fuel, is 25 percent cheaper to operate and is
 96 percent quieter than the KC-135A.

 Under another modification program, all Air Force Reserve and Air
 National Guard tankers were re-engined with TF-33-PW-102 engines. The
 re-engined tanker, designated the KC-135E, is 14 percent more fuel
 efficient than the KC-135A and can carry 20 percent more fuel.

So I guess the answer is "yes". I suspect that the "TF-33-PW-102" is
military terminology for some fairly familiar airliner engine; perhaps
the turbofan engine from a later 707. The Web site for the 126th Air
Refueling Wing at <http://www.ecnet.net/users/mukjf4/126arw/kc135.htm>
shows what I think is an 'E model; the engines look like '60s-vintage
turbofans to my inexpert eye. Do you suppose the parts are cheaper
than upgrading to CFM56's?

One report has the 'Es being gradually converted to 'Rs (see
<http://www.novia.net/~drbob>, who seems to have info on S, U, V, W,
and X variants!).

Boy, there seem to have been a lot of variants on this airplane! I
guess there are lots of them around, they've been around a long time,
and a modified one would tend not to attract attention, either from
Congress or from other governments.

--
-Stephen H. Westin
Any information or opinions in this message are mine: they do not
represent the position of Cornell University or any of its sponsors.