U.S.

June 28, 2013

This week in history: June 28

First air-to-air refueling

1923-First-Air-to-Air-Refueling-Record
Today, air-to-air refueling is a daily occurrence across the U.S. Air Force. But it was not always so. Ninety years ago this week, two Airmen successfully completed the first air-to-air refueling. On June 27, 1923, Lts. Lowell Smith and John Richter made the Army Air Service’s first complete hose refueling between two Airco DH-4B biplanes over San Diego. Two months later they set another record by flying 37 hours and refueling the aircraft nine times. Five years later the famous Question Mark, a modified Atlantic-Fokker C-2A flown by aviators to experiment with aerial refueling, shattered numerous refueling records by staying airborne for 150 hours, 40 minutes and 14 seconds. After that, air-to-air refueling fell into disuse until after 1950, but that is another story.




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Airman 1st Class 
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