A330 MRTT for RAF performs first contacts with receiver
The first Airbus Military A330 MRTT Future Strategic Transport Aircraft (FSTA) has successfully completed its first contacts with a receiver aircraft.
Am 13. Dezember 2010 führte die A330 MRTT für die Royal Air Force erstmals einen Testflug mit Kontakten zu einem Empfänger durch. Hier ist die spanische F-18 am Schlauchsystem im Rumpf angekoppelt (Foto: Airbus Military).
In a 2 hour 40 min sortie from Getafe near Madrid on 13 December, the FSTA conducted a series of dry contacts with a F-18 fighter of the Spanish Air Force as planned.
The contacts were made using the Fuselage Refuelling Unit (FRU), which is a hose and drogue similar to those fitted under the wings, but which instead trails from the rear fuselage of the aircraft. It can provide a higher fuel transfer rate and be used with receiver aircraft that prefer centreline refuelling. Like the underwing system, it is also developed and supplied by Cobham of the UK.
In the course of that flight and a subsequent sortie, contacts were successfully performed thoughout the refuelling flight-envelope at altitudes from 8,000ft to 35,000ft and speeds from 180kt to 325kt.
Head of Airbus Military Derivatives Antonio Caramazana said: “It is very satisfying to see the Fuselage Refuelling Unit in operation and demonstrating the final element in the A330 MRTT´s refuelling system. We look forward to executing wet contacts in the coming days to reinforce the status of the A330 MRTT as the world´s most advanced and proven transport/tanker.”