A400M wing-mounted refuelling pods pass certification test

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An Airbus A400M has successfully used wing-mounted refuelling pods to refuel six Spanish Air Force F-18 fighters as part of an air-to-air refueling human factors certification flight.

Cobham’s Wing-mounted Aerial Refuelling Pods (WARPS) were used during a single mission for air-to-air refuelling (AAR) in a series of scenarios such as changes of area, receivers with unknown priorities, and unexpected increases in numbers of receivers. Through multiple contacts the six aircraft simulated a fleet of eight.

The operational F-18s refuelled by the A400M belonged to the Spanish Air Force Test Centre (CLAEX) and the 12th Operational Wing based at Torrejón.

A total of 11.4 tonnes of fuel was dispensed using both the underwing pods and the centre hose refuelling unit. Certification authorities on board confirmed good results and the flight validated the A400M two-crew cockpit concept for tanker missions.

January 10, 2018

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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