Two Airbus C295s perform first AAR tanker wet contacts

30 January 2020 (Last Updated January 30th, 2020 14:59)

The Airbus C295 tactical airlifter has successfully carried out its first air-to-air (AAR) tanker wet contacts during a flight test campaign.

Two Airbus C295s perform first AAR tanker wet contacts
Two C295s perform AAR wet contacts during a flight test. Credit: © SERGIO_FLORES.

The Airbus C295 tactical airlifter has successfully carried out its first air-to-air (AAR) tanker wet contacts during a flight test campaign.

The wet contacts flight tests were conducted out of Seville, Spain, this month.

During testing, two C295s participated in day and night flight operations. The aircraft flew at a speed of between 100k-130k.

One C295 aircraft acted as the tanker and was installed with a removable AAR kit. The receiver aircraft was a Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire Español) C295.

Five wet tests were performed by the aircraft and 1.5t of fuel was transferred successfully in daylight operations.

Additionally, a proximity test was conducted with a Spanish Air Force F18 fighter jet at a flight speed of 210k. It also included night flight operations.

Spanish Air Force pilot Captain Gabiña said: “The degree of difficulty in flight test is always high since it involves performing manoeuvers that no one has done before.

“It should be noted that due to the positive behaviour of the aircraft, the operation has been good and straight forward.”

The successful completion of the tests makes the C295 tactical aircraft capable of conducting multi-role operations under all extreme weather conditions.

The aircraft can now be used for refuelling missions for helicopters, transport and fighter aircraft.

In December 2019, the first dry contact tests were conducted in closed ramp configuration, 100ft hose and remote vision system.

The C295 airlifter has a short take-off and landing (STOL) capacity, with its fully integrated tactical system (FITS), enhances mission awareness and operational efficiency. It has a range of 2,000nm with a payload capacity of 6t.

In September 2019, Airbus conducted the A400M’s first AAR refueling with a helicopter.