Air Refueling Archive

Huge Collection of Air Refueling Pictures

Boeing KC-46A makes first contact

First Contact

The KC-46A Pegasus performs its first-ever aerial refueling passing 1,600 pounds of fuel to an F-16 fighter Jan. 24. Credit Paul Weatherman / Boeing Boeing Flight Test & Evaluation – Boeing Field – KC-46, VH004, EMD2, Initial Contacts with F-16, Boeing KC-46 Pegasus Tanker Refueling F-16, Edwards AFB 412th TW,

KC-46A Test 004-002

KC-46A Test 004-002 was the initial F-16 contact and fuel pass flight on January 24, 2016. Air Force Photo by SSgt Brandi Hansen.

KC-46 C-17

KC-46A performs an aerial refueling contact with a C-17A.

Link to full article: http://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/boeing-tanker-passes-first-midair-refueling-test-for-air-force/

January 25, 2016 Posted by | 2010s, C-17, F-16, KC-46, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

History of Refueling

Great documentary about Air Refueling that aired on the Military Channel.

January 22, 2011 Posted by | 1920s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, B-47, B-52, Boom Operator, Boom Pod View, F-104, F-105, F-15, F-16, F-4, History, KB-29, kb-50, KC-10, KC-135, KC-135A, KC-97, Probe/Drogue, Question Mark, Receiver View, Video | 2 Comments

Airbus A330 Tanker Boom

The fly-by-wire boom allows refueling at altitudes up to 35,000 ft and speeds of 180-325 knots, Airbus says, adding that the fuel transfer rate is up to 1,200 US gal/min (4,500 l/min) at 50 psi. Fully extended, the boom measures 17 meters in length.

A F-16 sits in contact behind an Airbus A330 MRTT. The ruddevators appear to form a more acute angle than those of the KC-135. Also to be noted are the fences on the ruddevators and vortex generators on the boom fairing. Otherwise this is a very familiar sight  to KC-135 boom operators.

This image is 1920×1080 pixels and may be an indication of the fidelity that can be expected from the remote viewing system.

Image Source:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3A27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3A3a156286-aef1-4fa2-b388-6d7302c94362&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

May 5, 2010 Posted by | 2000s, A330, Boom Pod View, F-16, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Polish F-16 Refueling

A Polish Air Force F-16 pilot receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 from the 100th Air Refueling Wing during a NATO exercise April 7 near the European continent. The KC-135 Stratotanker is capable of delivering fuel to more than 20 F-16 aircraft in a single mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jerry Fleshman) Click image to enlarge.

A Polish Air Force F-16 pilot receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 from the 100th Air Refueling Wing during a NATO exercise April 7, 2009 near the European continent. The KC-135 Stratotanker is capable of delivering fuel to more than 20 F-16 aircraft in a single mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jerry Fleshman) Click image to enlarge.

May 14, 2009 – A group of Airmen with the 100th Air Refueling Wing traveled to Tampere, Finland, May 2 to participate in a week-long exercise with Navy  and Finnish Air Force F-18 Hornet pilots.

The Airmen helped teach the Finnish pilots how to refuel in-air from a KC-135 Stratotanker.

The exercise marks the first time United States Air Forces in Europe has deployed a tanker team to Finland for an air-to-air refueling operation. The Finnish Air Force has been flying F-18s since the mid-1990s, but air-to-air refueling is a fairly new concept to the country’s Hornet pilots.

According to the Finnish Air Force’s 21st Fighter Squadron, some of the unit’s pilots have refueled other aircraft in air, but the majority of them are inexperienced with the procedure.

“This provides an extension of our forces,” said the squadron’s operations officer, who asked to remain anonymous due to government policies. “This will allow us to be in the sky longer.”

The captain said the training helps the squadron, and the service as a whole, meet a government requirement to be able to deploy outside Finland to support NATO forces. Although Finland is not a member of NATO, it is a part of the organization’s Partnership of Peace program, which USAFE also supports.

“This opens our eyes to a much wider operating area,” said the captain.

One of the primary missions of the 100th ARW is providing air refueling support to the United States’ European allies, said Capt. Aaron Torczynski, KC-135 aircraft commander. The 100th ARW is the sole refueling unit for the European theater, supporting NATO members and broadening the range of air assets flying around the globe.

Everyone involved with the training was enthusiastic and eager to learn and the tanker crew was especially proud to participate in this historical mission, Captain Torczynski said.

“Everyone here is working seamlessly as a team, because we all know the significance of this mission,” he said. “There is nothing but absolute professionalism out here from everyone involved.”

Captain Torczynski said the Finns have been supportive on all aspects of the mission, from airborne operations to assisting Air Force maintainers with pre- and post-flight duties.

“The aircrews and pilots have given us fantastic training opportunities,” Captain Torczynski said. “While the small group of maintainers we brought here has worked tirelessly to ensure we’re ready to fly each day.”

The Air Force crew arrived in Finland a week after a pair of Navy F-18 instructor pilots began teaching the Finns the fundamentals of air-to-air refueling. While the Finnish pilots fly the same type of aircraft, the similarities between how the countries’ aviators operate them are sparse.

“It’s the same airframe, but there are a lot of differences,” said Navy Lt. Chris Williams of Strike Fighter Squadron 125. “It’s very interesting to see how people do different things with the same equipment.”

Each of the 16 Finnish pilots who were trained required a minimum of three flights to become qualified for air-to-air refueling. The first flight took place with an instructor in a two-seat F-18D model and the last two in a single-seat F-18C.

Each pilot aimed to have six solid connections, or “contacts,” with the refueling receptacle. While 18 contacts are needed to be fully qualified, each pilot’s qualification is based on feedback from the instructors and is ultimately decided by the squadron commander.

Once qualified, the pilots will assist in the instruction of the rest of Finland’s F-18 pilots.

Still, the Finnish pilots weren’t the only ones who received training from the exercise. Since the Air Force doesn’t fly any fixed-wing aircraft that refuel with the probe and drogue system, boom operators in the back of the KC-135  gained valuable experience from the training, Captain Torczynski said.

“Any time these guys get to step outside the norm and hone their skills on something they don’t see every day is a great benefit for the Air Force,” he said.

There are no plans for the Air Force to return to Finland for this type of mission anytime soon. The plan is to have newly qualified Finnish Air Force pilots take over the training.

“This training not only allows Finland to reach out and assist other nations, but it helps build strong partnerships between the United States and our European allies,” Captain Torczynski said.

Source:

Image Source:

May 15, 2009 Posted by | 2000s, Boom Pod View, F-16, KC-135 | , , | 1 Comment

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:

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