AirplaneGeeks 322 Flying a KC-135 When the Ground is all Sparkly

KC-135R Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor. U.S. Air Force photo by Kevin Robertson.

Aerial refueling, airline profits boosted by lower fuel prices, the future of the U.S. Air Force, bad behavior at the airport, and the NBAA Convention.


Guest Matt Fritz is a KC-135 Instructor and Commander with over 2000 hours, including combat and combat support. He is also a certified acquisition professional, a certified Emotional Intelligence Trainer/Practitioner, and the Author of an instructional book entitled, “Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile for Success.” Matt actively blogs with other military leaders at, as well as at his personal blog He’s a civilian licensed commercial pilot with multi-engine and turbine ratings.

We talk about the role of the KC-135 tanker, an aircraft with a mix of old and new technology. Also, the future look of the Air Force, and the importance of open communication between military leaders and the public – connecting the warrior to the citizen.

Matt has some advice for young pilots who aspire to serve their country as a military aviator, and he tells us a story about a brand new boom operator flying over Afghanistan on a night mission.


Cheaper Fuel Leads to Record Profits at Airlines

Third Quarter airline results are in, with American Airlines, United Continental Holdings, and Southwest Airlines seeing record profits. A big part of the reason? Lower fuel prices.

America’s Enemies Beware: The U.S. Air Force Is Set to Soar (and Become Even Deadlier)

This article in The National Interest argues that between now and 2035, the U.S. Air Force will come to look very different than it has in the past.

Historically, they say, the Air Force has been defined by it’s platforms: fighters, bombers, airlifters, refuelers, surveillance and reconnaissance, and command and control.

The authors see a future where the Air Force will not focus on aircraft types, but on the Airmen, who will become “cyber-aided warriors with tremendous reach.”

Homophobic Man Taken Down at Airport After Inciting Brawl Over “Queers”

A man at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, who was described by some as drunk or on drugs, started a fight with another man wearing a pink shirt. When it got physical, passengers standing around jumped in, tackled the man, and held him down until police officers put him in handcuffs. All this was caught on video.

NBAA’s 2014 Convention Wraps Up as a Highly Successful Show

Rob gives us highlights from the NBAA Convention, which saw some 1,100 exhibitors, more than 100 aircraft, with over 26,000 people in attendance.

Aircraft of the Week

"SUEreabasteciendo1" by Martín Otero - Own work.

The MiG-28, the Exocet, and the Super Etendard.  David looks at one of the dumbest lines in Moviedom and TOPGUN.  “They are the MiG-28 and carry the Exocet anti-shipping missile.”  Flashback to when the movie was made and we explore why the Exocet was on everyone’s mind.

The Australia News Desk

Steve talks with Rod Rakic and brings us an update on Open Airplane, a service that assists pilots who want to rent an airplane. The network now has 72 locations in the U.S. with over 250 aircraft available, now including light twins, LSA, and tail draggers. 8000 pilots have signed up.

Across the Pond

Airline seats

Pieter talks to Marisa Garcia from about the latest trends in airline seating,  and her busy travel schedule. “If you want to cover aviation, you’ve got to fly…..”


U.S. Air Force KC-125 photo by Kevin Robertson.

“SUEreabasteciendo1” by Martín Otero – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at