The flying boom method of aerial refueling was developed by the Boeing Corporation at the request of the U.S. Air Force as an improvement over the old hose and drogue method. This boom was removed from a KC-135 aircraft. It features an outer boom with small ruddervators that enable the boom operator to fly it into proper position. The inner boom is extendable and acts as a shock absorber during refueling. It can also be adapted with a drogue to refuel aircraft using the hose and drogue method.
The boom is 28 feet long when retracted and 48 feet long when extended. It can transfer 600 gallons of fuel per minute.