The first KC-135 Stratotanker is rolled out of Boeing’s assembly hangar in Renton, Wash, in 1956. It replaced the prop-powered KC-97 (in back and left of the KC-135), which could not keep up with jet-powered fighters and bombers.
The Boeing KC-135 was built on the same platform as the Boeing 707 and was used to determine appropriate ceiling and visibility standards for 707 approaches to airports.
A Stratotanker refuels a B-52 in flight.
A KC-135 refuels and SR-71. It is speculated that the USAF had a special fleet of KC-135s to handle the SR-71’s need for JP-7, a rather special jet fuel.
Here’s the view from the refueling-boom-handler’s position at the rear of the plane.
A dozen KC-135s prepare to take-off in an exercise that showed the readiness of the 100th Air Refueling Wing.
A few hundred KC-135s have already been retired and are sitting in the desert at Davis-Monthan AFB’s Boneyard in New Mexico where the weather preserves what is left of them.