Airbus A310 MRTT Performs First Air Refueling

Released on Wednesday, July 28, 2004
United Kingdom
Airbus A310
Airbus A330-200
F/A-18A Hornet
ARBS - Advanced Refuelling Boom System
MRTT - Multi-Role Tanker Transport
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 refueling.

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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