A400M trial refuels two F/A-18s simultaneously

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The Airbus A400M airlifter has successfully demonstrated simultaneous air-to-air refueling (AAR) of two F/A-18 fighters. Over the course of four flights, the A400M performed 74 contacts and dispensed 27.2 metric tons of fuel to the Spanish Air Force fighters. Refueling was conducted at altitudes of 20,000ft up to 33,000ft, and airspeeds of 180kts to 300kts, the preferred refueling envelope for fighters.

The A400M has a basic fuel capacity of 50.8 metric tons, which can be increased by the use of the cargo hold. The standard A400M has full provisions for AAR operations already installed and just requires an installation of the optional AAR kit to become a tanker. Designed from the outset to be a dual-role transport and tanker aircraft, the A400M provides air forces with a way to acquire an AAR capability in addition to a versatile logistic and tactical airlifter.

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With over 20 years experience in editorial management and content creation for multiple, market-leading titles at UKi Media & Events (publisher of Aerospace Testing International), one of the UK's fastest growing publishing companies, Anthony has written articles and news covering everything from aircraft, airports and cars, to cruise ships, trains, trucks and even tires!

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