Questions tagged [mid-air-refueling]

The process of refueling an aircraft without needing to land (usually done via another aircraft), used almost exclusively by military aircraft.

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Have two similarly sized aircraft ever hard-docked with each other while in flight?

This question is looking for a precedent in aviation related to the futuristic idea of maintaining a permanent fleet of solar-powered aircraft in the upper atmosphere on the sunny side of Venus (which ...
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Is inverted aerial refeuling possible?

Google found lots of information about how to air-to-air refuel an inverted plane inside a video game. Is it possible in reality?
Anonymous Physicist's user avatar
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Are aerial tankers converted aircraft or their own designs?

For instance, this KC-46. Is this a converted Boeing 767? Or its own design? Same with this Rivet Joint.
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6 answers
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How does in‑air refuelling work from a strategic point of view?

There's plenty of articles explaining how in‑air refuelling works from a technical point of view, and this is not what I'm after. What I'm struggling to understand is what's the point to begin with. &...
o0'.'s user avatar
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Would mid-air refueling for an air-to-space vehicle that flies like a plane be a viable advantage if the tech was available? [closed]

Let's take the style of an F-22 Raptor (awesome!), build the fuselage, wings, etc to handle runway takeoff horizontally and then vertically (if needed) up to orbital space flight to reach the ISS in ...
DanAvangard's user avatar
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4 answers
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Is air to air refuelling possible at "cruising altitude"?

When an aircraft uses air to air refuelling are there constraints on the maximum altitude this can take place at? For instance I'm guessing that a Boeing Globemaster when on a long journey would ...
glaucon's user avatar
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How many mid-ocean battery swaps are needed for an electric A380 to refly the first transatlantic flight?

Context To understand what the current level of electric airplane propulsion is with respect to large passenger airliners I developed the following question: Question How many battery swaps would be ...
a.t.'s user avatar
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Is it possible to reload Electric Aircraft in mid-air from a tanker aircraft?

Can this be done military style refueling but with an electric wire boom supplying current from tanker aircraft to electric aircraft mid air in flight? Electricity from the tanker craft can be ...
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How was the endurance test in the Cessna 172 legal?

The flight in the Cessna 172 lasted around 64 days with two pilots switching to fly the plane. To my knowledge both FAA and EASA have rest periods which pilots have to follow. Also the refueling was ...
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Technical factors to consider for retrofitting aerial refueling for commericial aircraft

What are the factor that need to be taken into account to retrofit and an airliner like an a330 or 777 or maybe even a business jet like a global 5000 to an aerial refuelable (receiving) aircraft. Is ...
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What determines a plane's range?

When a planes maximum range is specified, is fuel [capacity] the only constraint or what else is taken into account? Would it always or ever be the case that a greater fuel capacity will increase ...
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What is this propeller on the A330 MRRT refueling pod? [duplicate]

Illustration taken from this youtube video Earlier in the video, it can be seen moving: Is it to provide mechanical power for the boom operation ?
Antzi's user avatar
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Why do airplanes bank sharply to the right after air-to-air refueling?

Whenever I see videos on YouTube they bank really sharply to the right after disconnecting from the tanker. Why wouldn't they do a more shallow 30-degree bank? See this video for reference:
pythonhelpthrow's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
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What procedures are used for midair refueling without air supremacy?

One of the major themes of the answers to (and comments on) my earlier question about tankers not having ejection seats is that tankers are used only in environments where the threat from enemy ...
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Can air to air refueling can be done in the rocket engines as done in the Aircraft jet engines?

Can air to air refuelling can be done with rocket engines as is done with conventional aircraft jet engines? If no then what are the possible hazards or conditions preventing this?
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Why are flying-boom tankers restricted to a single boom?

Tanker aircraft can use one or both of two refuelling systems: Flying boom: A rigid boom is lowered from the tanker and inserted into a receptacle on the roof of the recipient aircraft. Probe\drogue: ...
Vikki's user avatar
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What is this helicopter (and probe) in the film "Act of Valor"?

In the film Act of Valor, two helicopters are used to airdrop troops and their boats onto a river. (Clip here.) Firstly can you identify the aircraft? Second, what is the extremely long probe on the ...
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29 votes
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Where does Air Force One refuel?

Obama came to Greece and then to Germany. That's a long trip, even for the majestic Jumbo. There was a lot of discussion about where the aircraft was refuelled during that trip. Do we know, in general,...
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Where does the fuel that the mid-air refueling probe collects go to?

Where does the fuel that a mid-air refueling probe collects go to? Does it go straight to the engine, to the fuel injector(s), or does it go to some place that then sends the fuel somewhere?
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Why are the in-flight refueling probes of French-built fighter aircraft non-retractable?

French-built fighter aircraft seem to have in-flight refueling probes that are not retractable, as seen from the linked images below. What are the advantages of a non-retractable refueling probe that ...
Avi A. Shunn's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
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What is the work routine of a boomer operator in a refueling aircraft?

This is a boomer operator: (source by John E. Lasky - United States Air Force) If he is not refueling an aircraft, or the plane is not on a refueling mission, what is he doing? Is he sitting in that ...
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26 votes
2 answers
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How does aircraft maintain precise speed, e.g. in formation flying or refueling?

I understand ailerons, elevators and rudders can be controlled to a very fine degree, and in precise flight, like formation flying, they can be used for very fine course adjustments to maintain the ...
SF.'s user avatar
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5 votes
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What are the costs and labour hours for converting a B767 airliner to an aerial refueling aircraft?

To win the tender of RAF Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft, Boeing, BAE systems and British Airways formed Tanker Transport Services Consortium to offer air-to-air refuelling to military jets, using ...
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1 vote
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Cruiser-Feeder Concept - feasible? [duplicate]

The people from cruiser-feeder started a project called RECREATE. However, for the concept with fuel transfer from feeder to cruiser (civil air-to-air refuelling operations), the results of our ...
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37 votes
3 answers
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Why don't airliners use in-air refueling systems?

Right now if an airliner wants to fly a really long distance (eg., a Boeing 787 flying from Seattle to Tokyo), it has to load itself down with lots and lots of fuel, which in turn weighs thousands and ...
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9 votes
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Is there a special procedure for mid-air refueling in the rain?

After reading about mid-air refueling and watching The Perfect Storm, I have a question: is there a special procedure to observe when performing an in-flight refueling in the rain? Side note: I heard ...
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20 votes
14 answers
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Why is mid-air refueling worth it? (or is it at all?)

Surely, mid-air refueling is a cool thing, but is it worth it? It's obvious that the military, for one, has some requirements to keep aircraft airborne so that they can keep patrolling, for example. ...
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