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RAAF KC-30 bones up on B-1B refuelling

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 2, 2016
Air-to-air refuelling trials between the KC-30A and B-1B Lancer. (US Air Force photo by Christian Turner)

The Department of Defence has released images of a RAAF KC-30A MRTT tanker-transport refuelling a US Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber.

The KC-30A was conducting refuelling clearance trials with the B-1B – known to its crews as the ‘Bone’ – during a flight test program from Edwards Air Force Base, California in October and November, Defence said.

The trials were conducted by a test team led by the RAAF’s Aircraft Research and Development Unit and the USAF’s 418th Flight Test Squadron.

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During 185 dry contacts and 16 wet contacts, all parameters of the air-to-air refuelling procedures between the two aircraft were examined, Defence said.

Air-to-air refuelling trials between the KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport and United States Air Force B-1B Lancer.
Air-to-air refuelling trials between the KC-30A and B-1B Lancer. (US Air Force photo by Christian Turner)
Air-to-air refuelling trials between the KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport and United States Air Force B-1B Lancer.
Air-to-air refuelling trials between the KC-30A and B-1B Lancer. (US Air Force photo by Christian Turner)

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17 Comments

  • BJ

    says:

    Beautiful aircraft! A shame we never tried to buy some second hand in the late 90’s from the US.

  • That Ron guy

    says:

    The irony is that that could have been a USAF KC-30A, but they rejected it, twice, for exactly the reason these pictures depict – the sight of a “French” tanker refueling sacred American aircraft. Blasphemy!!

  • Craigy

    says:

    What a sleek machine the B1B is.

  • Paul

    says:

    That would really look good at Avalon

  • Tomcat Terry

    says:

    Awesome pictures!

  • Allan

    says:

    What a great milestone for the KC 30 and it`s crews. The aircraft really is proving it`s mettle. Great photos. Well done to all.

  • Tom

    says:

    This is just fantastic photography

  • Daryl

    says:

    Beautiful photos.Edwards based B1’s were airframes 9 and 28 many years ago.9 since parked in the graveyard.Not sure what is there now,cant make it out in the pics.

  • ESLowe

    says:

    Question: how many of the B1Bs will be stationed in Darwin, or Katherine, N.T. in the distant future.

    Anybody have any ideas

  • Paul

    says:

    ESLowe,I dont think there will be any.They will operate from Guam and most likely stay a few days in Darwin or Tindal from time to time.

  • Dee Thom

    says:

    @ Paul, the B1B has attended Avalon on a couple of occasions that I recall; and yes it is an awesome platform.
    The last “Bone” I recall seeing was a unit from Ellsworth AFB, in South Dakota.

  • Dale Hansen

    says:

    Our air force is small by world standards but they can deliver the product when needed. i hate to be on the wrong side of these guys in a fight. Go RAAF KC30!!

  • Taurean Lea

    says:

    Lovely photo :-).

  • Paul

    says:

    DeeTom,yes I know it attended Avalon.I was trying to say the KC-30 refuelling the bone would be a great opening of the show.I sat in the cockpit in 2011.

  • Mick181

    says:

    Smallish Air Force Dale in numbers only but in reality very powerful for it’s numbers. Throw in Force multipliers like Awacs, Tankers, the Growlers when they come on line, EW capabilities that will come with the G550s, improved ISR with Tritons & Poseidons, very advanced Trg, supported by useful numbers of Global reach tpt Aircraft and thats only the Fighter Force.

  • Paul

    says:

    I am sure there will be a bone at Avalon.

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