Airbus announced that the A310 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) successfully
performed its first in-flight refueling as part of the certification process.
Moreover, this is the very first time an Airbus aircraft achieves an in-flight
With this achievement Airbus enters into the military mission aircraft market.
The in-flight refueling trials included "dry" (not fuel involved) and "wet"
(fuel transferred) contacts with both Panavia Tornado and F/A-18 Hornet combat
aircraft. The Tornado received 260 US gallons (988 liters) of fuel, while the
Hornet received 270 US gallons (1,026 liters).
The A310 MRTT is based on the proven A310 passenger jet providing military
customers with an affordable solution for transport of cargo and personnel as
well as air-to-air refueling missions.
Currently, six A310 MRTT have been ordered by Germany and Canada. The German Air
Force, Luftwafe, will take delivery of four aircraft and the Canadian Air Force
will take delivery of the remaining two aircraft. Three of these aircraft will
undergo conversion work at EADS' Elbe Flugzeugwerke facilities in Dresden,
Germany, while conversion work on the other three aircraft will be performed at
Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg, Germany.
This aircraft is a two-point hose-and-drogue or optionally refueling boom
systems tanker utilizing under wing pylons. EADS' Advanced Refueling Boom
System (ARBS) utilizing the latest fly-by-wire technology will be tested on the
A310 test aircraft in 2005.
In addition to the A310 MRTT, Airbus developed the A330 MRTT based on the
long-range, widebody A330-200 jetliner. The A330 MRTT is under consideration by the Armed
Forces of Australia and the United Kingdom. Performing as a tanker it has
three-point hose-and-drogue or optionally refueling boom systems.
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