Always loved watching them take off from Carswell AFB in Ft Worth. Two B-52s, followed by a KC-135. Their saggy wings would gradually lift as they reached take off speed. Hard to see much after that, though. Buffers were pretty smoky.
Born and grew up here, and now I'm back. Saw/heard Hustlers crack a bedroom window going supersonic.
Saw the MITO take-offs. One BUFF after another, water injection on, roaring. I was probably 6, standing in my back yard, fingers in my ears, spring in the air, and feeling my chest cavity viberate from the sound.
And they were smokey, back in the day.
I did wind up in the AF eventually. TAC, not SAC, first time around.
Likewise and more. The Buffs used to fly almost directly overhead on their landing pattern for Carswell. I lived just west (1/4 mile or so)of the primary runway and just north of the West Freeway. I could almost count rivets as they flew overhead. Always a treat to see them as well as comforting to know they were always on the job.
The article doesn't mention when they were upgraded from burning coal.
The last model, the H's aren't so smokey. Their engines are different than the other models (TF-33, verses J-57) but are still an old design, really just a modified version of the older J-57 with a fan stage or two. The newer engines, or a very similar commercial model, are so old that they've long since left most commercial service, and many reserve KC-135s, which originally also had J-57s, have been re-engined with the commercial variant, taken off old airliners. That wing flapping causes lots of fatigue problems in the fuselage. A BUFF on the ground looks all wrinkled, like the old gal she is.