Last E Model Takes Up its New Gig

A Maine Air National Guard team on Sept. 23, 2009, flew the last of the Air Force’s E model KC-135 tankers from the 101st Air Refueling Wing at Bangor to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., where the 50-plus-year-old aircraft will serve as a parts supplier for the slightly younger Eisenhower-era tankers—upgraded R/T models—remaining in the fleet. Aircraft No. 56-3630 has spent the past 20 years with the Maine Air Guard, and, in its heyday, it set a speed record, flying from New York to London and back in 12 hours. As the Air Force moves out with a new KC-X procurement effort to begin replacing KC-135Rs, 74 of the E model tankers will be in storage at the “boneyard” of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Aircraft Regeneration Group, whose technicians could restore the aircraft to service, if necessary. Continue