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Air-to-Air Refueling

Tue May 11, 2004 8:31 am


This may be a stupid question but here goes...has there ever been, or is there currently, any consideration ever given to equipping airliners with the capability of being refueled from a tanker aircraft during flight? Of course this idea wouldn't work for short flights but for long international flights wouldn't this allow airliners to carry more passengers and/or cargo? There would be a lot of things to take into account, ie aerial tankers,training...etc but it doesn't hurt to be creative.

Thanks for your responses.

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RE: Air-to-Air Refueling

Tue May 11, 2004 8:33 am

By the time you pay to get the tanker up there, go through the time-consuming task of refueling, etc., it probably wouldn't be worth the savings. Either way, you are paying to get that big load of fuel into the sky.
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
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RE: Air-to-Air Refueling

Tue May 11, 2004 8:39 am

Imperial Airways did some experiments with mid-air refuelling with their 'Cambria' Empire flying boat in 1939.

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RE: Air-to-Air Refueling

Tue May 11, 2004 12:49 pm

I think there are many reasons this will never be seriously considered by the airlines. First off, they have aircraft for each type of route they intend to fly. Secondly, the cost of installing IFR (In Flight Refueling) capability, coupled with the requisite training of their pilots, would be prohibitive. Also, I'm not sure the military would be keen on flying tight formations with non service crews. Anytime you have aircraft of that size in such close proximity, there is a potential for a mishap. I just don't see the general public nor the CEO's ever accepting that risk.

But most of all, I just don't think it is really necassary with todays long haulers.
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