Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker – 100th ARW, USAF, Mildenhall UK 1/400
2 in stock
2 in stock
Gemini Jets GMUSA097 1/400 scale KC-135R Stratotanker serial 58-0100 of the 100th ARW (Air Refuel Wing) USAF based at RAF Mildenhall Suffolk UK
Length 4 inches Wingspan 4 inches
The 100 ARW is the only permanent U.S. air refueling wing in the European theater. During World War II its predecessor unit; the 100th Bombardment Group (Heavy), was an 8th Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress unit in England, stationed at RAF Thorpe Abbotts. Flying over 300 combat missions, the group earned two distinguished unit citations (Regensburg, 17 August 1943; Berlin, 4/6/8 March 1944). The group suffered tremendous losses in combat, with 177 Aircraft MIA, flying its last mission on 20 April 1945. One of the wing’s honours is that it is the only modern USAF operational wing allowed to display on its assigned aircraft the tail code (Square-D) of its World War II predecessor.
The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker is a military aerial refueling aircraft that was developed from the Boeing 367-80 prototype, alongside the Boeing 707 airliner. It is the predominant variant of the C-135 Stratolifter family of transport aircraft. The KC-135 was the US Air Force’s first jet-powered refueling tanker and replaced the KC-97 Stratofreighter. The KC-135 was initially tasked with refueling strategic bombers, but it was used extensively in the Vietnam War and later conflicts such as Operation Desert Storm to extend the range and endurance of US tactical fighters and bombers.
The KC-135 entered service with the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1957; it is one of six military fixed-wing aircraft with over 50 years of continuous service with its original operator. The KC-135 is supplemented by the larger KC-10. Studies have concluded that many of the aircraft could be flown until 2030, although maintenance costs have greatly increased. The KC-135 is to be partially replaced by the Boeing KC-46 Pegasus.