Flying with the legendary Bloody Hundredth Onboard ‘Miss Irish’

Reheat Aviation were privileged to be invited on February 25th 2014, onboard Qid65 61-0295 ‘Miss Irish’ a KC-135R from the 351st ARS to refuel seven Panavia Tornado ECR’s from JG51 and JG33 with the boom fitted hose and drogue basket. On departure from runway 11 we would route to the SAXON track where we would meet up with our trade for the day callsigns ‘Dragon, Rage, Pirate, Ghost, Bomba’. The Refuelling mission would take place in the Saxon track in southern Germany, which is located very close to Dresden and the city of Chemnitz.

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45+77 drops into the pre-contact position. Copyright Ryan Dorling (Reheat Aviation)

On that day, around 69 years ago, the 100th BG would have been flying their deadly bombing raids over these cities risking being shot down by flak or enemy fighter aircraft of the Luftwaffe, but today the 100th ARW now support the Luftwaffe in current operations and continues to train alongside its allies. During the sortie the Tornado crews were challenged with flying in close formation on the wing of the KC-135R and refuelling from the boom fitted drogue basket that is attached to the boom of the KC-135.

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This photo shows the visibility on the day which was superb. Image Copyright Ryan Dorling (Reheat Aviation)

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46+52 Panavia Tornado ECR of JG51 is seen close to the wing of Qid65 in the Saxon Track. Image Copyright Chris Dorling (Reheat Aviation)

After all refuellings were complete we would depart the air refuelling track on a practise brake away, which A1c Dunsmore briefed us with beforehand this is a procedure that is used in emergency situations but needs to be practised on a regular basis, on the final contact A1c Dunsmore gave the “Brake Away, Brake Away, Brake Away” command after which the pilots of Qid65 put the KC-135 into full power and we climbed away from the AR area simultaneously the Tornado pilot throttled off and dove away, on departure from the area we would then head back to RAF Mildenhall to a runway 11 arrival.

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43+46 of JG33 is seen approaching our wing awaiting his turn for some gas. Image Copyrighted Chris Dorling (Reheat Aviation)

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46+46 Tornado ECR is seen formed on the wing of Qid65 after completing Air Refuelling, a contrail from a passing civil airliner lingers in the background. Copyright Chris Dorling (Reheat Aviation)

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