Base Aircraft

A McConnell KC-135R Stratotanker leads a group of KC-46 Pegasus tankers on an Elephant Walk. The quickest way to distinguish between the two types of aircraft is by the number of engines, as the KC-135 has four engines and the KC-46 has two engines. The phrase “Elephant Walk” is a military aviation term for the taxiing of military aircraft right before takeoff, when they are in close formation.

Four engines or two is the major way to tell the difference between which McConnell Air Force Base’s aircraft you see in the skies around Derby.

At a distance in the sky, McConnell’s tankers look like twins. But truth be told, these are distant relatives from the same family, despite sporting similar paint schemes and configurations.

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