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Airborne's Annual April 1st Episode

Thu, Jun 04, 2009

In-Flight Refueling Tests Moving Forward

A330 MRTT Successfully Performed 1st Contacts Using New Refueling Pods

The Airbus Military A330 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) has completed another major milestone, successfully performing a series of dry contacts using the new generation Cobham 905E hose and drogue under-wing refueling pods. The receiver aircraft was a Spanish Air Force F/A-18A+ fighter.

The system performed well in hose extension and retraction, and showed good hose response in the contact as well as stability during pre-contact and when connected.

This new refueling pod is a development of the 907E pod already in service with the Canadian and German air forces on their A310 MRTTs. The pods can each deliver up to 420 gallons per minute through a 90 ft  hose, and are controlled from a state-of-the-art Fuel Operator Console located in the cockpit.

"The next steps in the flight test program involve more contacts with the new hose and drogue refueling pod and the advanced Aerial Refueling Boom System (ARBS), refueling a variety of receivers that will include French, Portuguese and Spanish small and large receiver aircraft. This flight test phase will lead us to the completion of military certification, and final qualification with our customer" said Miguel Morell, Vice President Airbus Military Derivative Programs.

The A330 MRTT has been selected by the air forces of Australia, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and was chosen last year by the U.S. Air Force for its recapitalization of the service's aging tanker fleet.

FMI: www.airbus.com

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