August 25, 2013 9:14 AM PDT

Photo by: US Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andy M. Kin

Caption by: Jonathan Skillings .

Theres only so much fuel you can put into a given airplane at any given time, and by extension, only so r that airplane can fly once it takes off. Unless, that is, a rendezvous can be arranged with a flying gas station. Nowadays,mahhatan escort thats become par for the course for the US Air Force and other military branches, a skill thats regularly trained and a key cet of both wartime and peacetime operations. Consider, for instance, the B-52s that flew from Louisiana to Iraq and back in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, or the B-2s that traveled from Missouri to South Korea (and back) earlier this year — an astonishing round trip of 13,escort story 0FA-18 Hornet aerial refueling escort story00 miles — for a little geopolitical muscle-flexing.

Here we see a US Navy F/A-18 Hornet getting itself into position behind a KC-10 Extender aerial tanker for a fill-up in 2010 while thousands of feet in the air over Afghanistan. But the story of aerial refueling stretches back a full 90 years. Lets travel back in time….