A400M completes air-to-air refuelling tests

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Airbus’s A400M military airlifter has taken a vital step towards its certification for air-to-air refueling operations as a tanker after the completion of a set of refueling test flights with its Cargo Hold Tanks. 

The test flight campaign was conducted with the Spanish Air Force Test Centre (CLAEX) and featured a total of nine flights where 90 tonnes of fuel were dispensed to Spanish Air Force F-18 receivers and to another A400M prototype as a representative heavy aircraft receiver.

The test campaign also included the development and certification of the Cargo Hold Tanks with the latest Fuel Quantity Management System software, which is to be certified during 2019, the enhancement of the night refueling vision system and preliminary testing of helicopter air-to-air refueling capabilities.

The A400M made its maiden flight during December 2009 and the first aircraft was delivered to the French Air Force in August 2013.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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