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Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker: More Than Just a Tanker (Aerofax) Paperback – 28 Mar 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Midland Publishing (28 Mar. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857800699
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857800692
  • Product Dimensions: 28.1 x 21.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,672,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Yes, Mr Hopkins I understood your message by about page 10: the [EKR]C-135 was the "silent partner" in the relationship that enabled SAC to keep the peace. But the author continues to dedicate the first few pages of each chapter to reminding us how erudite he is in terms of Cold War strategic and political history. This *was* meant to be an Aerofax?

Best book I have ever seen on this vitally important type, but impaired not only by the author's historical ramblings but also but an odd omission of "middle level" and operational detail. For example he explains the strategic imperative necessitating, say, the RC-135U and '135W and then discusses individual airframes in excruciating detail but never actually explains what equipment was onboard or how they really differed in mission. The "why" and "how" are there but the "what" is missing.

The chapter on Looking Glass and the other command & launch posts was eye-opening but again lacked operational information.

The appendices and end-notes are marvellous though, including lots of interesting anecdotes about oddities that occurred on missions. Whatever those missions happened to be...

A good book, an important book, but one which will make you feel that you've been lectured at.
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By A Customer on 17 Sept. 1998
Format: Paperback
This has got to be the definitive book on the Boeing RC-135 aircraft. But it is also more.
For someone like myself, who has only been as close to an RC-135 as standing next to it in the SAC Museum, the book tells me more than I need know about this long serving aircraft. But at the same time, if for whatever reason I ever need to know it, this book will tell me.
With all its technical detail, and the documentation of that detail, for the aircraft aficionado, the real value of this book to the "layman" like myself is Robert Hopkins historical commentary. A former USAF pilot and RC-135 aircraft commander, with a history specializing in the Cold War, Dr. Hopkins is able to put all this hardware into perspective. He explains how the technical development of the aircraft fit into, and was utilized by, the diplomatic policy and the military defense mission of the United States during the Cold War.
With seemingly at least one photograph on every page - including a 16-page color section - this is an excellent and remarkably researched book. As a knowledgeable veteran called it, "It's an encyclopedia of the RC-135."
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Format: Paperback
"Robert" has taken the long service career of this historic aircraft, given us the important facts, figures, and photographs, all rolled up into one hell of a well researched, and written book on the most important military aricraft built in history. If you don't believe me, than just read this book. If you flew, maintained, or built the "buck tanker", or any of her numerous varants, this is the book to own. If you didn't and want to find out what it was like; read this book.
Tables and figures are well laid out, and provide information not readily available to the public. This book is "FMC" (Fully Mission Capable).
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Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding book on the air force's trusty and dependable -135 series of airplanes. I would recommend this book to any one interested in aviation, a must for any pilot, mechanic, or airplane enthusiast. The best "photojournalism" about any aircraft I've seen in a long time- two thumbs up!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Boeing KC-135 - More Than Just A Tanker 11 Mar. 2000
By Michael D. Derry - Published on
Format: Paperback
I recently completed reading Dr. Hopkin's excellent book on an unbelievable aircraft. The only thing that the C-135 series of aircraft didn't do was air-to-air combat! The book is an exhaustive, highly-detailed history of every model of aircraft developed from the basic KC-135 Stratotanker, covering the development history of each mission type (tanker, transport, reconnaissance, etc.) and also each specific aircraft modified for its particular purpose. I flew on 3 different models of the RC-135 series for 3 years while in the Air Force and was amazed at how many previous reconnaissance variants preceeded the common types used today. I recommend this book for any military aviation buff, but also for anyone who was privileged to have been a crewmember on such a versatile aircraft over the last 40+ years. The many previously-unpublished photographs nicely compliment the very informative text.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
THE book on the C-135 family! 13 Oct. 1999
By Jennings R. Heilig ( - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you have even the remotest interest in Boeing's fabulous C-135 family, you have to get this book. Bob Hopkins' extensive research into the history of this huge family of aircraft really shows. It covers the history, development, employment, and the multitudinous variants, sub-variants, and sub-sub-variants in great, readable, detail. The selection of photographs is outstanding, although the great majority are in black & white. Separate sections cover the major functional families such as transports, recon aircraft, tankers, testbeds, and command posts. Within each section is a description of each variant, a little about its history, and then a complete history of each individual airframe which carried the MDS. Appendices cover each and every airframe and its history (through the time of publication), leaving few questions unanswered. The book could easily have been five times as long as it is and still have only scratched the surface of detailing the exploits of the C-135 family. However, this volume should serve all but the most ardent fanatic perfectly.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Book! 11 Mar. 2000
By Robert Sanchez - Published on
Format: Paperback
As a current aircrew member on the Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft, I am always looking for anything out there with the history of our airframes. This book is EXCELLENT. The data is accurate and even though you might think you have seen or heard of every variant of the 135 out there, after reading this book you'll soon discover there are a lot more. I highly recommend this book as the benchmark 135 book on the market
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
KC-135....the jet that will outlive anything else flying! 9 Jan. 2007
By Armando R. Limon - Published on
Format: Paperback
When it comes to a true iron horse for the USAF, then that honor goes to the KC-135, it's the kind of aircraft that made all those long range missions possible, wether you fly a fighter, a transport, or bomber, with a KC-135 you could always count on the tankers and the crews that flew them.

If you want to know the history of this fantastic jet, no home aircraft libray should be without this book, depending on the mission needing flown, from the "Plain Jane Tankers" and recon missions of the Raven RC-135's, this book has what you need to appericate what USAF did to fly.

For the aircraft buff like myself, this one book you ought to have!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The quintessential book on the 135 airframe! 19 Oct. 1999
By Edward M. Sasdelli - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a crew member on RC-135s for 7 years and when I saw this book I could not put it down. It gives excellent, well explained descriptions of each variant along with photos making it easy to follow and equally interesting. My compliments to Dr. Hopkins.
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