A McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Refuels a Lockheed SR-71
Approximately 1/48 Scale
Tankers, like the KC-10 and the smaller Boeing KC-135, permit the
refueling of other aircraft in flight, extending their range to permit global
missions. Fuel is transferred to the receiver aircraft by way of a boom
mounted on the tanker's lower aft fuselage. Operation of the refueling system
is controlled by the boom operator, or "Boomer." While the receiver maintains
formation with the tanker, the boom is flown into contact with the receiver receptacle and transfer occurs.
(Other versions of the system use a probe and drogue system, not shown here.)
The KC-10 can transfer more than 200,000 pounds of fuel, or about 31,000
gallons, to other aircraft during a single mission. The KC-10 itself can be
refueled in-flight from another tanker.