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Frontiers May 2013 Issue

Reserve for 24 years. She was a KC-10A personnel program manager while on active duty. Appropriately, the kind of “flying boom” that Canada operates was developed by Boeing engineers. Boeing has long been a pioneer of in-flight refueling, starting in the 1920s when a simple hose was used to transfer gas between Boeing and Douglas biplanes. After World War II, Boeing converted 92 of its B-29 bombers into KB-29M aerial refueling tankers, the first full-time tankers to be operated by the U.S. Air Force. But the Air Force wanted a faster and more efficient method of transferring fuel than the hose used at the time, so Boeing engineers developed a rigid telescoping boom that had two ruddevators, which resemble two small wings, at the end. It not only delivered fuel at a much higher rate, international program manager for the C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustain-ment Program. She and her team ensure the Royal Canadian Air Force has the maintenance and parts it needs to keep its fleet of Boeing C-17 airlifters operating. “In many ways, my job at Boeing feels like a continuation of my military service,” Canada said. “Of course, it’s a little less dramatic than my role in the Air Force, but I feel every job is vital. Doesn’t matter if it’s on the front lines or behind the scenes.” Canada said she finds it rewarding to work at Boeing while serving in the Air Force Reserve. “There’s camaraderie both in the military and at Boeing,” she said. “You take care of each other; you support one another … much like a family.” She has worked for Boeing for 12 years, and been in the U.S. Air Force and the but the ruddevators allowed the boom to be more easily guided into the receptacle of the receiving aircraft. This new boom was initially outfitted on 116 converted B-29 bombers designated KB-29P, which were followed by Boeing’s propeller-powered KC-97 tankers, and later on the first jet tanker, Boeing’s KC-135, which took to the skies in 1956 and can carry passengers and cargo. Boeing built 732 KC-135 tankers between 1956 and 1965. Today, approxi-mately 400 of the original tankers remain in service with the U.S. and allies. Boeing continues to maintain, upgrade and support the KC-135 fleet through its Global Services & Support division. The Boeing team also performs Program Depot Maintenance and Engineering Support to international cus-tomers Chile, France, Singapore and Turkey. Eventually, the tankers, which are much older than the pilots who fly them, are to be BOEING FRONTIERS / MAY 2013 23


Frontiers May 2013 Issue
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