An A330 multirole tanker transport (A330 MRTT) aircraft, for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has performed the first simultaneous fuel transfer on two fighter aircraft with its all-digital hose-and-drogue system.
During a flight test sortie, the fuel transfers have been conducted by using both the Airbus A330 MRTT’s left and right under-wing pods.
A total of 11 simultaneous airborne refuelling contacts with two Nato F/A-18 fighters have been conducted under which more that 25,000lb of fuel has been transferred.
The MRTT features an advanced aerial refueling boom system (ARBS) with an all-electric, fly-by-wire controls in addition to the two digital hose-and-drogue pods under the wings.
The MRTT’s ARBS can deliver fuel at 1,200gal per minute.
The MRTT’s all-digital 905E are capable to deliver up to 420gal of fuel a minute, while its 90ft hoses are designed to accommodate probe-equipped military receiver aircraft at refuelling speeds of 180kt to 325kt.
A state-of-the-art remote aerial refuelling operator (RARO) station located on the A330 MRTT’s flight deck behind the pilots controls the refuelling process.
The A330 MRTT is equipped with combination of boom and pod refuelling technologies, which ensures rapid and safe transfer of fuel to all types of aircraft during a single mission without being reconfigured.
Flight tests have demostrated both the refuelling systems on the A330 MRTT, confirming that the first of five A330 MRTT is now ready for delivery to RAAF in mid-2010.