McConnell Pilots Fly Upgraded KC-135

Pilots at McConnell AFB, Kan., conducted their first training mission in a KC-135 tanker equipped with the new Block 45 upgrades, according to a base release. “The jet flew as advertised,” said Maj. Scot Stewart, an instructor pilot with McConnell’s 22nd Operations Group who was on the July 22 flight. The Block 45 upgrades feature a new autopilot, radio altimeter, and an LCD screen to address safety-of-flight issues and replace obsolete parts, states the release. “[I] was impressed with the new automation and believe this enhanced modification will bring increased capabilities to the tanker fleet,” said Stewart. “These flights provide the cadre an opportunity to develop techniques to best utilize the new equipment,” said Maj. Christopher Brockman, the group’s chief pilot for the Block 45 program. Two of McConnell’s 62 KC-135s are already equipped with the new technology, states the release. (McConnell report by A1C Jose L. Leon)