Home » Air » Monday Video: F-35’s First Night Refueling

Monday Video: F-35’s First Night Refueling

by John Reed on April 9, 2012

Well, it’s Monday. To start things off nice and easy, let’s start with this video of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter refueling from a KC-135 at night for the first time. Welcome back to work, everyone.

Click through the jump for the video.

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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Noha307 April 9, 2012 at 9:20 am

I know this seems like a stupid question but, was fuel actually transferred, or did they only just make contact?

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tiger April 9, 2012 at 10:47 am

Yes, they took on fuel.

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ltfunk April 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Traditionally you take on fuel in a refueling but the F-35 fakes it every step of the way.

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Jack April 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Probably the mundane refueling part is edited out.

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Rohan April 9, 2012 at 9:48 am

Nice work pilots……..

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1trubluamerican April 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm

The fly-by at the football game looked very good. I seriously doubt that it cost anyone their wings! Besides the Air Force has a history of erroring on the safe side. If it had been a Navy fly-by, they would have been a lot lower and faster. :)

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SJE April 9, 2012 at 11:14 am

Nice work. The bigger question now is not whether we can transfer AVGAS to an F35, but whether there will be a continued transfer of money (AM-CASH) to the entire project.

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brianckramer April 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Jets don't use AVGAS

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SJE April 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Yes, but its harder to make "JP-8" rhyme with "billions of US dollars."

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brianckramer April 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm

hey I agree with you there…if there was an olympic gold medal for worst procurement of the year, this would be tied with the LCS

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Nick Dwyer April 9, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Yes they do!

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Oscar Akbar April 9, 2012 at 11:17 am

The F-35 is really the most aesthetically pleasing fighter for the eye, today.
Beautiful!

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josh smith April 9, 2012 at 11:27 am

Are you kidding me? I think the F-22 would have something to say about that.

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WRG01 April 9, 2012 at 11:43 am

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…hate to say it, but Su-27 is sexy as sh**. Hard not to have a thing for Russian girls…

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ltfunk April 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Yep some people like fat ugly women

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XYZ April 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

You mean like those in America?

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@RWandB April 10, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I'm sticking with the P-51.

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Sgt_Buffy April 11, 2012 at 8:13 am

Beauty is in the eye of the Beerholder.
I dunno, anything that can blow a bunker sky high is pleasing to the eye.

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Chuck Gaskill April 14, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I like to see things boom just as much as the next guy, but I still think the Tomcat rules. Then again I'm admittedly biased since I worked on them for ten years!!

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Chris Alemany April 9, 2012 at 11:57 am

In case you are not aware… might want to keep tabs on http://www.cbc.ca starting Tuesday (it's a holiday today). The Auditor General of Canada reported that the ruling government has been lying (he used more bureaucratic words) to Parliament about the costs of the F35 (which was also the cause of the snap-election last May) and that they decided on the F35 literally with one memo deciding it was the only '5th generation' fighter without saying what a 5th gen fighter. There is now speculation is that the Minister of Defence will resign. Whatever happens, there are fireworks, and the F35 is in the middle of it.

Here is a good article describing the 'layers of misconduct'.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/04/04/an

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Praetorian April 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm
Chris Alemany April 9, 2012 at 11:59 am

God. It must be early in the morning… apologies for the lack of proof reading.

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jessmo April 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I am starting to Hope Canada does cancel. we need to hit them with a cancellation fee, and pull any contract work from them. Give there allotment to Japan. I'm so sick of these cry baby Canadians. Crap or get off the pot.

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John Moore April 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Cry baby Canadians? I think you meant to say fiscally responsible Canadians.

The price jumps 10 billion from what we were told and you expect it to go unchallenged?

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SJE April 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm

The F35 mess a big deal in Canada. They pulled themselves out of a financial mess, and have been pretty well governed for a while now. The govt is not going to go down just to send extra $$ to LockMart.

Plus, the Canadians have ongoing friction with the USA on everything from tar sands, autoparts, drugs, and the Artic. The cost of the F-35 is just an easy thing to use as leverage against the USA, without the political fall out because the "bad guys" are a US company, and not the government.

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Brian Black April 10, 2012 at 5:33 am

The Canadians haven't signed anything, so no cancellation fee.

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Chris Alemany April 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Cry baby Canadians, eh Are you going to have the cohones to back up that statement on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge or just leave it out there for everyone to judge on their own?

Unlike some other places, Canadians actually care that their money is spent wisely. Single sourced, patronage, pork barrel contracts might be business as usual in Congress, but it doesn't 'fly' North of the border.

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tom April 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Don't let one jerk ruin your whole day mate. Our neighbors to the North are great friends and a lot more fiscally responsible than us.

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Rob Smith April 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Chris, I am an American military combat veteran and I strongly agree with your statement. There is a profound difference between a Patriot and a Nationalist. We have too many Nationalist in this country.

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TribulationTime April 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Well I´m a big mouth bullshiting, How many time and millions took that plane made which Usaf/Navy/Marines mastering from 30 years ago? (i kown about all tests needed to qualificated flying worthy a airplane). In serious disscusion, It´s a good capability with its short-legs, and small weapons numbers carried, it will fly a lot of trips to target, arised problem is: F-35 is designed to attack high-tech enemies (stealth and sensors) and carrie 2-4 weapns per sorties: so you have to keep air-refueling stations, unsafe closed to enemy (S300/S400/S500) and do it all the time. Don´t argue about "smart weapons" and read first about Gulf War/Kosovo/Lebanon 2006/ Libia 2011, this one is the most interesting…Full air superiority/No AAA defense and it was launched thousands of smart weapons to make the Rebels(?) winners.

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HeavyArrow April 10, 2012 at 7:34 am

The F-35 isn't designed purely for stealth. With stealth you cannot carry many weapons. Stealth is normally used for the opening of a war or front, not something that is used every sortie.
The F-35 is designed to carry weapons outside of the normal four stations internally (Which are dedicated to carrying either a ground attack munition, JDAM or Harpoon what have you, and an air to air weapon for self defense, AIM-9X, AIM-120C, etc). It is designed to carry weapons externally too, with a smaller cross section than let's say, a F-16 or an F-15E. Stealth as itself is a very expensive way of going about things, so getting more with less, well that's what Congress of today wants to do anyway.

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Steve B. April 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Correct me if I'm in error, but does the C model (Navy) not have a probe for probe and drogue re-fueling ?. Did I read that somewhere ?.

Do not all the carrier based re-fuelable Navy aircraft use P&D only ?. I understand that there are no longer dedicated carrier based tankers, instead using S3's or F/A18's with buddy stores and a P&D pod, or is that no longer done.

Possibly getting refueled is not that much an issue ?.

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Nick Dwyer April 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm

No they do fighter to fighter if needed. Also there is omega air and drouge pode on most US tankers too.. All probe/ in the Navy. Think that globalhawk was a test bed for uav kc ops.

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Craig April 10, 2012 at 10:56 am

The B and the C have probe-and-drogue refueling gear.
The Navy generally keeps an FA-18F as a tanker on the boat. 4 x externals plus the buddy store.
KC-10's have one hose built in and can use wing pods.
KC-135's can use a BDA or wing pods.
The USMC has 70 or so KC-130T/J's whose main mission is tactical aerial refueling.
The X-47 is the UAV the Navy is testing. That will include tanking.

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Jack April 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Fighter to Fighter?…..I don't think so. The F-35 is receptacle only….no probes and drones, so it must be refueled with a boom, just like the B-52, RC-135s and most new fighters and the F4C and F-16s.

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Nick April 11, 2012 at 2:13 am

Whoa buddy…not sure if trolling.
F-18 certainly do Ifr around carriers with each other . F-16′s have been fitted to tank from c-130 drouges and the F-35 most def has probes on B and C’s.

And again Global hawks flew in Ifr formation as well as f-18 autonomously… Paving the way for Ucas drone.

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Jacob April 10, 2012 at 12:34 am

Video would've been better without music imo.

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anantoniusbauwens April 10, 2012 at 6:18 am

Learned laast week that The Netherlands has its first bird F-35 and soon others will follow to update our airforce,
Ill be happy to see them flying as most pilots,we have to stay up in the 21century!

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Sgt_Buffy April 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

It's good to see some (visible) progress on the F-35. It's too late to turn back, so let's make the most out of the F35. Was there a plan to replace almost every plane in our Air Force with these?

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Tom Heston April 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Looking forward to the USMC version refueling from a KC-130J. VMGR-152, 79-81 (F Models)

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Craig April 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

VMGR-152, 92-96.
They re-fuel off of VX-20's F and R's right now.

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Infidel4LIFE April 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I really hope its all they said it would be. Where were the electronics it uses made? In china? Why would we do that if thats true? It better work out this is it. It is a pretty bird..

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PattMan April 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm

umh, tanker in photo adjacent to F-35 IS NOT A KC-135. I did 5 years at Altus working 135's, and that ain't one. I believe it's a KC-10, put in service after I left USAF. Nice lookin' bird, and the fighters not too bad either…..Y'all take care now, heah.!?

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George April 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm

The day pic is a KC-10 but the night refueling movie is a 135. I noticed that the tail letters were Kadena AB, Japan ZZ. Why would they be over here? Go figure.

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Vance McCrumb April 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Altus AFB. Was a Sentry Dog Handler there from 63 to 67 with time out for good behavior in Vietnam in 65

Dogman

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strongshield April 10, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I beg to differ with you…the first tanker in the video is a KC-135R tail identifier ZZ from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron the second tanker is a KC-10…F-35 is a bad bird…I think we should send a few Israel's way

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Schizoid_Mann April 11, 2012 at 7:55 am

There is increased activity in East Asia due to the fact that N. Korea will launch a ballistic missile on the 15th of April that will traverse air space near or over Okinawa.

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Roy April 12, 2012 at 10:09 am

I said same thing, C141 engineer here, been behind both and the pic is a KC 10 for sure.

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John Cox April 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

I was fisxing to say thats not a KC1235 its a KC10

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John Cox April 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm

pardon my typo I mean it's not a KC135 its a KC10

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Mel April 10, 2012 at 7:32 pm

A waste of tax payers funds given the number of fighters put out to rest before their time of duty is over. We waste far too much money of programs such as this with little human value of lifes learned lesson of how to get alone with ourselves and the worlk. Besides, the tanker was not a KC135, it's a KC10. I worked on this type of aircraft at several airlines. GEAT REAL and stop eating this military bull of wasted money.

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Devildog774 April 10, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Excellant work, another milestone met, welldone.

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OldDog April 11, 2012 at 12:04 am

All the Boomers must be sitting in the corner smirking. Picture is KC-10 in the daytime, duh. Video is composite. Note the differences in the boom, and the view out the back. KC-135 Boomers do it laying down and backwards. lol

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David April 11, 2012 at 1:56 am

Brings back the days in the 60s I was a KC135 engine mech. 301st fms SAC

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Nick April 11, 2012 at 2:17 am

Funny I left the AF last year and worked Tankers, maybe the same ones… Fuel shop FTW.

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Lee April 11, 2012 at 3:21 am

In WWII, it took them four years to get the B-29 into combat, and the engines still weren't right. They didn't get that problem solved until several years later.. We can't wait until we are at war for these projects, we must STAY on top of it always.

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Bill April 11, 2012 at 8:31 am

Great video but drop the stupid music in the back ground

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hugh April 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm
Ed Johnson April 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Hope the TFX II works out better than the first one.

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Wild Bill April 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm

At least the military is getting away from redundency. Years ago Congress wanted to fund like type aircraft for the Air Force and the Navy, but the in-fighting with the services was crazy. The F-111 was originally intended to be a joint service attack aircraft, but the Navy wanted nothing to do with it. Have you ever noticed the F-111 had a tailhook? The Air Force used F-4's for attack and fighter, but the Navy used them in the fighter role. The Navy had the Grumman A-6 as their primary attack plane. Then of course the Navy had to have the F-14, and then the F-18 took up the role of attack and fighter for the Navy. Now the Hornet is just worn out. It's about time they went to a one source aircraft. Military aircraft get alot of hard use and service life is finite. Regardless, they need to be replaced.

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Bob Allan April 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

The video shows refueling from both the KC135 and the KC10. This makes sense since it will be refueled by both tankers. The V type boom is the KC135. The boom with the two vertical stabilizers if that of a KC10 boom.

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