Sep 1, 2014
A400M acts as tanker aircraft for first time
A company-owned A400M refuelled a Spanish Air Force Boeing EF-18A Hornet fighter aircraft. Airbus said that the tanker test programme included 33 dry contacts and 35 wet contacts, including the transfer of 18.6 tonnes of fuel, across five flights.
The latest air-to-air refuelling milestone for the A400M follows the aircraft acting as a receiving aircraft for the first time in July, when it was refuelled by an Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).
The A400M is designed to act both as a tactical/strategic airlifter and as an air-to-air refuelling platform. To act as a tanker, two probe and drogue refuelling kits can be installed on the aircraft's wings.
Alternatively the aircraft can operate as a centreline refuelling aircraft with the installation of a palletised refuelling drogue kit in the aircraft's cargo hold. Two additional fuel tanks may also be installed in the aircraft's hold, if required.