When one thinks about transferring liquid at 30 000 feet in the air, it’s usually in the form of whiskey to the belly, and then belly to the, uh, water closet.
This is not what went down when Boeing defied the odds by refuelling a KC-46 Pegasus tanker mid-air from one of its twin jets. The aviation innovators managed to transfer just over 66 000 litres of fuel from one plane to the other, shortly after leaving the ground from Seattle’s Boeing Field.
This is what it looks like when 1200 gallons of air-nectar gets transferred per minute:
— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) April 4, 2018
Yup, the human race is up to some pretty cool things.
The fuel exchange was part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Supplemental Type Certificate, or STC, testing. The military tanker hit a “major certification milestone” during the flight, which lasted thee hours and 48-minutes, according to Boeing.
And if that’s not enough:
The craft proved it could handle receiving fuel from three tankers — the KC-46, KC-135, and KC-10. For those tests, a total of 540,600 pounds of fuel was exchanged.
Although the plane won’t be ready by its expected date in October, the US military will eventually make use of the KC-46 to refuel planes in need while carrying both passengers and other precious cargo.
Here’s another cool pic:
Talk about multitasking.
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