MQ-25 T1 test asset transfers fuel to a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet

 MQ-25 T1 test asset transfers fuel to a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet
103     23:28     05 06 2021    
The Boeing MQ-25 T1 test asset transfers fuel to a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet on June 4, marking the first time in history that an unmanned aircraft has refueled another aircraft.

The MQ-25 Stingray will assume the carrier-based tanking role currently performed by F/A-18s, allowing for better use of the combat strike fighters and helping extend the range of the carrier air wing.

During the initial part of the flight, the F/A-18 test pilot flew in close formation behind MQ-25 to ensure performance and stability prior to refueling. The maneuver required as little as 20 feet of separation between the two aircraft, both flying at operationally relevant speeds and altitudes. When the MQ-25 drogue was extended, the F/A-18 pilot moved in to “plug” with the unmanned aircraft and receive the scheduled fuel offload.

Photo by Kevin Flynn
Strategyvision.org
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