RAAF conducts Super Hornet – KC-30A tanking trials

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 23, 2013
A Super Hornet refuels from a KC-30. (Defence)

The RAAF has conducted initial tanking trials between Super Hornets and the KC-30A, leading to the approval of the two aircraft types to undertake air-to-air refuelling within a limited envelope. The approval marks a further move towards Final Operating Capability for the KC-30.

According to the latest issue of the Air Force newspaper, some 87 engagements were made and 76 tonnes of fuel transferred during the February trials, which were conducted at differing airspeeds, altitude and loading configurations to examine the nature of the KC-30’s wake. Stability of the drogue refuelling lines was also assessed, as were the flying qualities of the Super Hornet in an air-to-air refuelling situation.

Night air-to-air refuelling was also completed as part of the trials, which were led by the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU).

Meanwhile the Super Hornet fleet has amassed 10,000 flying hours since the first five aircraft arrived in March 2010.

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