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Boeing C-135FR Stratotanker (57-1506)


* * Many Thanks to my friend Tom Vance (aka: Alien) for passing along the method that made it possible for me to post my 34 year old photograph. * *
This photoshop-resurrected print picture was taken at Loring AFB, Maine, and those Pratt and Whitney J-57-P engines are a dead giveaway that this click of 571506 was snapped a long, long time ago. This Boeing Stratotanker was a 28 year old KC-135A model back when I caught it here; today, 571506 is STILL flying ... at 61 years old ... as a KC-135R!!
In this pic, 571506 wears the emblem of the Strategic Air Command's 42nd (Heavy) Bombardment Wing, Loring AFB, Limestone, Maine. Loring AFB closed in the 90s and is now known as Loring International Airport (ME16). This is my third post of photos I took while stationed at Loring.
Today, 571506 wears an Altus AFB, Oklahoma, tail flash (54th ARS / 97th AMW) ... and, as a KC-135R, it is a much improved aircraft. The P and Ws have been replaced with CFM CF-100 engines and the Block 45 upgrade has transformed the cockpit into a modern, up to date front office.


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Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
Alien, I had this (and other) pics in an old paper Kodak photo sleeve. Although it was not bent or crinkled in any way, it was a write-off photo because, after 34 years, it was very faded. I only hung on to it because of a stubborn belief that someday I would find some way to get it loaded into a computer where I might be able to use PS on it and possibly salvage it. The old Canon Scanner I have here is pretty much kaput, and I am too cheap to go out and buy another scanner just for scanning old pics of 60s, 70s, and 80s era military metal like B-52s and KC-135s, and civilian aircraft such as Viscounts, DC-8s, Convairs, 727s, and etc. Then, while catching up and viewing your latest posts, I remembered your mentioning the cell phone idea -- use a cell phone camera to take a click of a pic," and then send it to my computer where I could try to salvage it with PS. And check it out, T. It works!! Certainly not a super-ultra HQ result, but hey, it is viewable, eh? And there are probably some oldsters out there that will enjoy getting a flashback look at my older pics. TYVVM, Tom. This one is for you, my friend. (Both thumbs Up)
Jim Quinn
Great job with both the photo itself and the rehab work! What first got my attention after the initial good-looking aircraft was the poor shape of the hangar behind it...
Juan C. Peron
Don't give up, those Pics are PRICE LES and for us old timers those are better than the new ones. Let us know and we ship in $ for the Scanner.
Greg Byington
That's not too bad! Nice work, Gary!
Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
Jim, Juan, Greg ... Thanks to each of you for commenting. Jim ... It was not just Dock 44 that was in rather rough condition. All of the nosedocks needed repair / rehab work. But repairs were not going to happen. Loring had been on the DoD closure list even as far back as the early 70s when I was stationed at The Hansc (Hanscom AFB, Bedford, Ma). It kept getting reprieves, and then DoD would put more $$$ into it; however, only the bare minimum of cash. While I was overseas (Hellenikon AB, Athens, Greece), Loring survived another effort to close it. Then I was assigned there in Jan, 1980. It escaped yet another appearance on the closure list and more $$$$ was pumped into it. But the vast majority of that cash went toward upgrading housing (new garages, refurbished homes, a fantastic new single Airmens Dorm, etc.) and new personnel facilities (a new Commissary, a new BX, etc.). Because almost nothing went into flightline facility upgrades, everyone stationed there knew that Lorings days were numbered. Dock 44 (in this pic) and all the other nosedocks kept on deteriorating thru the 80s. In 89, I retired from the USAF at Loring after 20. And shortly after that, the axe fell. DoD announced Loring would be closed. The last facility upgrade was the base hospital. In the 90s, the gorgeous new base hospital held a ribbon-cutting ceremony ... and later that SAME DAY, the doors were padlocked. The place never saw a single patient. Today, all those nosedocks are gone. There are three hangars remaining. The Arch Hangar is on the list of National Historic Places. The huge DC Hangar, originally built to completely house B-36 Peacemakers when they needed maintenance, still stands; however, it is becoming structurally unsafe. And the TAC fighter hangar also still stands; it is used today as a storage facility for snowplows and unused Army Humvees. All the rest are gone. Juan .... Hey, thank you for the offer, but I can afford a new scanner. It is just that these old photos are not all that great, so I do not see the cost as being justified. So now that FA member Tom Vance (aka: Alien) has shown me a cheap way to salvage them and share them, I will do as I did here. I am very pleased that you enjoy viewing these oldies. (Waving)
Geez, those are some ancient engines. Lucky you were able to scan this beauty. 5*!
Gary Schenauer, That is a great photo! I'm going to share this link on the Loring AFB page on Facebook. I don't know if you are a member or not but they have quite a site. Lots of photos This is the link. https://www.facebook.com/groups/177335946853/ Keep'em coming!!
Dwight Hartje
It is amazing how long these birds have have stayed in service! Excellent shot, Allien!
Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
Isaac and GalaxyG --- I appreciate the comments and complis. Thank you both very much. GalaxyGuru -- Thanx for the info and link. There are several Facebook accounts devoted to Loring. A couple of them have a few of my photos reposted in them. Many years ago, I had submitted 13 of my aircraft pics from Loring to Michael Makar in Florida. He posted them on his site. Since then, some have been downloaded and reposted elsewhere. Most still have my name at the bottom of them. My photo above has never been shared by me until now, so this is the only site that has it. I have others that have never been shared. I promise I will post them soon now that my friend Alien has recommended a way for me to do it as I did with this one.
Started my AF career on KC135A Steam Jets at Carswell AFB, TX in 1976! My first StratoBladder was 56-3621 and was 1 year older than me! Over my time was on A, Q, and R models. Retired in 1993 on the KC10 at Barksdale AFB, LA. Love the 135! Honest, simple, tough and true! Will easily fly another 20 years!
Tom Vance
Yikes Gman!!!?? That is a cell phone pic of an oldie? 5x5 I didn't think theyd come out this good! Mine dont come out this good! The photo here is clear and colorful. My record of getting rejected at A.net and J.net over the years for being a crummy scanner and editor is well known in SFO circles, but this one Gman I thought it was new camera at long distance! Thanks for the Comps and yes, as others have said, save as many as you can onto digital. Keep posting. In fact, I may have seen this -135 at BFI pre Summer 1964 rolling in/out of Boeing. Though young, 10yrs and no camera, I still remember the sights and sounds of pre 1964 BFI action and there were plenty of these back then. Now, ill have to drag my 1987 Beale AFB Open House VHS videotape out and start editing for my Youtube page,,,,smoky -135s galore along with the err, ummm SR-71 in action! Thanks again! TV
How appropriate that your photo revival tips are demonstrated with revival aircraft; that's what the R stands for, right? I've got quite a few aged brown pics of Charleston AFS, ME, from the mid-seventies that deserve to live another day. I'll give it a try. Much thanks!
Jane Burton
Love these old photos Gary - very Special & well done! (This is my first post though I’ve belonged to Flight Aware for about 4 years)
Dan Chiasson
Says soooo much about airframe engineering!
Gary, I agree with Jaun P. They NEED to be preserved and for once photos besides XXX can be preserved maybe forever on the internet.
Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
Gerald, Mike, Jane, Dan, and R4808N .... Howdy. I truly appreciate your comments and I thank you all for viewing my picture here. (Just an FYI ... There are two more I posted previously. Just click on ME16 right below this photo.) I have several more I will be rejuvenating and then I will post those, too. Also, at this instant I am prepping for a totally amazing photo opportunity, but after I finish this event this weekend I will be going to check out your photos. Jane ... I am quite honored to know that you felt my pic was important enough that you made your first comment after so many years of membership. Thank You very much. R4808N .... FlightAware deserves a lot of kudos for providing this gallery free of charge. No one is required to contribute $$$ to be a participant here ... and .... unlike the Super Snob Sites .... no one gets rejected just because a panel of so-called photo experts thinks they are so talented that they can pass judgment on other photographers. I even know one guy who was so hung up on getting approval from the panel at JetPhotos that he actually paid one of them to edit his pictures for him. Very sad. So the people at FlightAware deserve a tremendous amount of Thanks for enabling us to preserve our photos on their gallery. (Wave) And to Alien .... Man, you and I have GOT to get together. I would consider it a great privilege to shake your hand. Your suggestion has made it possible for me to salvage a bunch of old snaps. TYVVM, T.
I was at Altus AFB '76 - '79 and that's how the looked in those days. The only thing missing is the black smoke.
David Seider
"...and I am too cheap to go out and buy another scanner just for scanning old pics of '60s, '70s, and '80s era military metal like B-52s and KC-135s, and civilian aircraft such as Viscounts, DC-8s, Convairs, 727s, and etc."
I propose a "Go Fund Me" effort so that Gary can go out and purchase the A+, #1, Creme de la Creme, all-the-bells-and-whistles scanner. Then he can go out and hire a small boy to shovel all of the old prints through the scanner. Those pics sound like they're too good to lose.
C'mon guys, we're talkin' about a National Treasure here!
Tom Vance
Thanks Gman - things will be a changing after the 1st of the year with 4.5 yrs to retirement or less and we'll be looking at CC to Minden so we'll be headed over that way in springtime to start looking at homes and testing the climate to see if the wife will spinout in the snow. I'll def set up on PM and it will by an honor to meet RH Gman!
Brian Roth
KC-135E, 57-1057, is preserved and on display at the Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover, Delaware. Thought it was interesting that they are consecutive numbers. The AMC museum has approximately 40 aircraft on display. More information on this KC-135 and the other aircraft is available on the museum website.
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