Bradford Runyon Interview, 25 February 2005

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BRYeah, and then I stayed until '69 and then got transferred to Carswell down in Fort Worth Texas to go overseas to...
TTArc Light.
BRYeah, for Arc Light.
TTSo you were stationed at Carswell for that—for six month TDY's or something?
BRWell, it was a permanent change of station so I stayed there for two or three, four years. But then that base had the D model airplane and they were rotating with other units, sending, not the whole base, but a few crews at the time—they kept several crews over there.
TTDid you have to retrain on the D?
BRNot really. I was already checked out on it from Castle. That's what I learned in was the D.
TTSo when you came to Minot though you probably had to go through a training program?
BRYeah it was just a few changes. Actually the H model is much simpler airplane and actually it was easier to change over from the D to the H than it would be to go from the H back to the D. One thing, the H didn't have the water injection, it just didn't have a lot the complicated stuff that the D model had.
TTWhat was that water injection for just to cool the engines?
BRNo, it added mass to the fuel and it would run for a couple of minutes, so you hit the water injection just prior to takeoff, and your power increased from 8,000 pounds to 12,000 pounds thrust per engine—
BR—and whenever the water ran out, usually you had enough water to get your gear and your flaps up and just as soon as the water ran out the airplane just died. I mean it felt just like you shut the throttles off. And with the H model, it was different, with a full load you set—you had a thrust gate because the engines were so powerful you could tear the wings off of it. So in the wintertime, I remember fully loaded you would set the thrust gate for about 65% power—we took off at 65% power then once you get airborne and get your gear up and your flaps up and the airplane's streamlined, just gradually increase your power on up to 100%. Instead of the engines dying then they really come to life.
TTOh, so that was a big improvement.
BROh I tell you it was really amazing. Yeah, with lighter fuel load it would climb like a fighter. It was great.
TTWhat was the basic mission at Minot?
BRThat was during the Cold War so we were a nuclear deterrent up there, and we had airplanes flying airborne alert different time periods, and so we would have at least one airplane over a certain orbit, you know well up north—
TTSo you were doing airborne alert essentially?
BRWe had ground and airborne alert.

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