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RAF C17 In-flight Refuelling  
User currently offlineSplitzer From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 151 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 3 months 6 days ago) and read 5203 times:

How do the RAF refuel the C17's in-flight as they don't have any tanker aircraft that use the boom method?

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDuce50boom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days ago) and read 5166 times:

IIRC, as part of the leasing agreement that allows the RAF to operate the C-17s, they're not allowed to conduct air refueling

User currently offlineDl021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5154 times:

When and if they need it they would more than likely require USAF training and equipment.

Right now they have added fuel tanks that extend the range of the aircraft by 15% over the normal stated 2500nm.

Were the RAF to modify the aircraft for their type of refuelling they would have to engineer new equipment and type-certify it.



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User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2952 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5047 times:

Probe refuelling equipment wouldn't be too hard to engineere, although it would be much slower to take on fuel this way than with the boom method. RAF E-3D's have both, and since RAF VC-10s provide gas for USN/USMC flights, I'm sure that if they really needed it, the RAF C-17s could tank from KC10/135s.


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User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6491 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5039 times:

DL021:

After a certain point, all C-17s are the C-17LR version. The Brits happened to get their order in after thi change was made.



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User currently offlineSplitzer From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 151 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5011 times:

What are the drawbacks/advantages to each refueling system? Obviously they're important enough to prevent standardisation.

User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2116 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4996 times:

I don't know why other countries use the drogue and probe method, but I can think of a few reasons why our services have seperate methods. I know our Air Force used to use drogue/probe. I've never read why they switched to boom style, but it does allow a faster transfer of fuel. It also allows the receiving aircraft to more or less fly steady while the boom operator 'flies' the boom into the receptacle... instead of the aircraft chasing the drogue. (I have video of a CH-53 Sea Stallion chopping off its own probe while trying to chase the drogue from a KC-130). Especially with larger less manueverable aircraft, chasing the drogue would seem like much more of a hassle.

The Navy doesn't use a boom system from a carrier though. The size limits of aircraft able to launch from a carrier makes the boom system impractical. Much simpler and more practical to have the drogue system, which allows aircraft like the KA-6 to buddy refuel.

That's how I've always seen it anyhow. Why other countries chose their methods I don't know, and hopefully someone will post.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4922 times:

I think the UK pioneered the hose/drouge refueling method.

As for not being allowed to refuel RAF C-17s in flight, that's really more about the systems used and it's incompatibility with the RAF, as the annual flying hours 'limits' on the C-17 lease has been doubled, not only for Afghanistan and Iraq, but in operations with no US influence like Sierra Leone.


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2952 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4914 times:

It used to be, back in the day, that the Soviets used wingtip to wingtip refuelling methods, and the USAF other methods too. I really have no idea how this was accomplished, but I'm sure if you search for old pics of B-50s refuelling, you'll find one. Either of the methods employed today are vast improvements.


Now can anyone tell me how they hooked up?

[Edited 2004-07-21 19:14:47]


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineSplitzer From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 151 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4896 times:

http://www.kstope.ang.af.mil/Logs/log0311.pdf

This explains how the wingtip to wingtip method worked among many things.


User currently offlineDuce50boom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4880 times:

Haveblue hit the nail on the head regarding reasons why the USAF and USN/USMC use different refueling systems. The decision was made in the 1950s by the bomber generals of SAC that the boom method would be the standard AF method of AR. The TAC (fighter pukes) generals and pilots all liked the probe and drogue method better because with wingpods you could have 2 fighters refuel at the same time. SAC couldn't stand it because the offload times for probe and drogue was astronomical for a bomber that took on 100K at a time, and the amount of workload it took for a heavy bomber pilot to push a probe into a basket and stay in position would easily tire a pilot during the easiest part of the nuclear war mission (getting out of the CONUS).

A little piece of trivia, the reason why the PDI (pilot director lights) on the bottom of the tanker fuselage are in the order they're in (up/down on the left side, forward/aft on the right side) is because for a bomber pilot, the yoke is in the left hand and the throttles in the right hand and they figured it would be easier for a bomber pilot to get used to and assimilate the info from the PDIs if the lights were arranged this way.


User currently offlineBsergonomics From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2002, 462 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 3 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4869 times:

One of the experiments that was conducted by Flight Refuelling Ltd (FRL) was supposedly to trail the refuelling hose below the recipient aircraft. That second aircraft would open the bomb bay doors and, in some way (I assume in a similar manner to the 'grappling hook' method) get hold of the hose and bring it into the bomb bay, from where it could be attached to the refuelling system.

This story was told to me by the grandson of the experimental pilot. You'd have to ask FRL if it is true. However, since thi was during the Second World War, it seems to be in line with the other experimental methods.



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