Validation of the KC-45’s four-point refueling system completed with tanker for the U.K. Royal Air Force
Arlington, Virginia, 26 janvier 2011
The fuselage-mounted hose-and-drogue aerial refueling system to be deployed on the EADS North America KC-45 tanker has successfully transferred fuel to two F/A-18 fighter aircraft – meaning all of the KC-45’s aerial refueling systems have now been proven in flight.
This latest achievement builds on more than 1,500 aerial refueling contacts already completed with the KC-45’s other refueling systems proposed for the U.S. Air Force, which include an advanced aerial refueling boom and wing-mounted hose-and-drogue refueling pods. Dry contacts with the hose-and-drogue fuselage refueling unit (FRU) began in December 2010.
Airbus Military completed the fuel transfers from the FRU on Jan. 21 using the first A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) for the U.K. Royal Air Force, one of four U.S. allies that have selected the tanker over Boeing tankers in four straight competitions. The EADS North America KC-45 is the proposed U.S. Air Force configuration of the A330 MRTT, and is the only tanker offered in the Air Force competition that is flying and refueling today.
“The KC-45 is a real, proven tanker that is doing the mission today in real-world conditions, and has passed more than 1.5 million pounds of fuel using every one of its refueling systems,” said EADS North America Chairman Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. “And we have 48,000 American workers who are ready to start building the KC-45 here in the U.S.”
This week’s aerial refuelings validated the performance of the FRU in a range of flight conditions, at speeds between 250 and 325 knots. Installed in the fuselage of the KC-45, the digital FRU can connect with the full range of receiver aircraft that refuel via hose-and-drogue, including larger platforms such as probe-equipped C-130 Hercules airlifters and the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
All four of the KC-45’s refueling systems are controlled from the Remote Aerial Refueling Operator (RARO) console, located in the cockpit. This console provides high-definition, 3D imagery with laser infrared lighting for highly accurate in-flight fuel transfers day and night – even during the most challenging operations.
The KC-45’s refueling systems have transferred fuel to a range of receiver aircraft, from F-16 and F/A-18 fighters to E-3 AWACS and other tankers.
To learn more about the KC-45 and the 48,000 American jobs it will create or support, visit www.kc-45now.com.
About EADS North America
EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.