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Sargent Fletcher ART/S Pod – F-16 VISTA

This F-16 is fitted with a Sargent Fletcher 370-Gallon Aerial Refueling Tank/System that allows the aircraft to refuel from drogue equipped tankers. Click image to enlarge.

This F-16 is fitted with a Sargent Fletcher 370-Gallon Aerial Refueling Tank/System that allows the aircraft to refuel from drogue equipped tankers. Click image to enlarge.

In this picture a Sargent Fletcher Aerial Refueling Tank/System (ART/S) pod is attached to an F-16 VISTA.

This unique concept is the product of the vast Sargent Fletcher experience in External Fuel Tank and Probe/Drogue Aerial Refueling systems design. The Sargent Fletcher 370-Gallon wing tank is modified to accept a retractable probe that will permit a F-16 aircraft to receive fuel from a Probe/Drogue-equipped tanker. A proof of concept flight test was conducted to verify the compatibility of the design to the hoop-up loads. No fuel was transferred in this test. Instrumentation was installed to measure loads, deflection, and stiffness. The test confirmed the loads placed on the probe and the ease of hook-up including the compatibility of the system to several different tankers.

VISTA with ARTSA later test was conducted with the ART/S® installed on the specially configured F-16 Variable Stability In-flight Simulator Test Aircraft (VISTA). The VISTA test flights confirmed that the ART/S® was compatible with various aircraft computer programs. When a F-16, and many other aircraft in the USAF inventory, is equipped with an ART/S®, it can receive fuel, not only from the boom/receptacle tankers, but also from any tanker in the worldwide fleet.

F-16 VISTA Sargent Fletcher ART-S Pod

Click image to enlarge.

The Lockheed Martin F-16 VISTA (“Variable stability In-flight Simulator Test Aircraft”) program, which ran from 1988 to 1997, began as a privately funded joint venture between General Electric and General Dynamics, to produce a Multi-Axis Thrust-Vectoring (MATV) variant of the Fighting Falcon.

The F-16 VISTA testbed aircraft incorporated a multi-axis thrust vectoring (MATV) engine nozzle that provides for more active control of the aircraft in a post-stall situation. The resulting aircraft is supermaneuverable, retaining pitch and yaw control at angles of attack beyond which the traditional control surfaces cannot change attitude.

The VISTA program was considered successful, but the thrust vector control (TVC) never made it into production fighter versions.

The program was also notable for the development of Direct Voice Input and the “Virtual HUD”, which were both eventually to be incorporated into the cockpit design for the F-35 Lightning II. The STOVL F-35 variants also incorporate MATV while hovering to provide attitude control.

The Sargent Fletcher ART/S Pod features a retractible refueling probe. Click image to enlarge.

The Sargent Fletcher ART/S Pod features a retractible refueling probe. Click image to enlarge.

Characteristic Model 27-370

Diameter

27 Inches

Capacity

340 U.S. Gallons

Aircraft

F-16, etc.

Mounting

Wing Pylon,
30-Inch Suspension Lugs

Tank Length

213.83 Inches

Overall Length

297.83 Inches

Operating Pressure

3 to 40 Pounds
per Square Inch

Special Feature

Equipped with Fully-Retractable,
Aerial Refueling Probe

Sources:

Image Source:

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May 12, 2009 - Posted by | 1990s, External View, F-16, F-16 VISTA, Probe/Drogue | ,

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