Sponsor Message:
Military Aviation & Space Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
RAF C17 In-flight Refuelling  
User currently offlineSplitzer From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 151 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6256 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 (11 years 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6219 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, 11448 posts, RR: 73
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6207 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

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.

Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently onlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 3164 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6100 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.

The last of the famous international playboys
User currently onlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6589 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6092 times:


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.

When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineSplitzer From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 151 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6064 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, 2158 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6049 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, 13445 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5975 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 onlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 3164 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5967 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 (11 years 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5949 times:


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

User currently offlineDuce50boom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5933 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 (11 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 5922 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.

The definition of a 'Pessimist': an Optimist with experience...
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic RAF C17 In-flight Refuelling
No username? Sign up now!

Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Military aviation related posts only!
  • Not military related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Any Usaf In-Flight Refuelers In Here? posted Wed Sep 15 2004 08:57:32 by Delta767300ER
RAF C-130J In Midair posted Wed May 26 2004 17:59:29 by Spacepope
RAF Aircraft In Afghanistan posted Sat Sep 20 2003 22:06:11 by EGFFbmi
Video - RAF In The Gulf In 1990/91 posted Mon Aug 21 2006 19:13:33 by GDB
Are You In The RAF?Whats It Like Im Considering It posted Fri May 5 2006 22:38:43 by BradWray
RAF L1011s And VC10 In PHX posted Tue Aug 9 2005 03:28:46 by 4holer
Swiss Airforce Jet Flight In Mountains Video posted Sat Mar 26 2005 18:10:14 by Numloxx
RAF To Buy Outright The C17? posted Fri Apr 16 2004 19:25:04 by Splitzer
RAF Chinooks That Cannot Be Flown In Cloud posted Wed Apr 7 2004 03:36:44 by Txiki1uk
Alpha Jet In RAF Service? posted Thu Feb 26 2004 20:06:58 by LN-ATC

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format