'Classic Airliner' = Military Lifeline

Wired has a gallery of "Classic" airliners, which if you are an aviation buff like me, is pretty cool.

They do qualify that to make the list they must be retired from regular passenger service, regardless of other status.

First on the list is the venerable Boeing 707.

A classic airliner by any measure...but also still a military necessity and lifeline for ongoing wartime operations.

Sadly this old workhorse is still on the front lines in the guise of ISR platforms (RC-135 variants, and E-8 JSTARS) as well as the KC-135, an aerial tanker that the Air Force has been trying to replace for close to a decade.

Unfortunately, as Congressmen posture and postulate, these 'classics' get older and older. The US cannot fight a war without them....

Take a look at this old photo from around the early 1960s. Both the B-52 and KC-135 are still major workhorses in the USAF 40+ years later. 40 years. Classic my ass....