The Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter, also known as the “KC-97 Stratotanker”, was a strategic tanker transport aircraft developed after a request by the U.S. Army Air Forces. The KC-97 had its first flight in 1945 at it proved to be a very successful and versatile aircraft. Boeing modified the design slightly to create their first post-war airliner, the Boeing 377. For many years, it was the backbone of the U.S Air Force tanker fleet until replaced by the KC-135. A total of 816 KC-97s were purchased from Boeing, as opposed to only 74 of the C-97 base cargo version.
The KC-97G Stratofreighter, a KC-97 variant, has 592 production aircraft that were factory-built as dual-role aerial refueling tankers/cargo transportation aircraft. KC-97G models carried under wing fuel tanks. Many models were converted into full transport like aero-medical or rescue roles. The KC-97G, the second and most numerous factory-built tanker version of the Stratofreighter, has a main distinguishing feature of the KC-97G was the addition of 700-gallon external fuel tanks under each wing.
On November 3rd, 2000, the KC-97G’s final flight was from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport and the Minnesota Air Guard Museum.
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