A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus KC-30 (A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport – MRTT) made the first ever air refuelling boom contact in RAAF service on Wednesday 13 May. During a three hour flight from Amberley airbase, the crew deployed the 17-meter long Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) which is mounted beneath the tail of the fuselage.
The RAAF’s five KC-30As are equipped with hose-and-drogue refuelling pods for supplying fuel to F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets. The A330 MRTT itself however requires a boom for inflight refuelling, along with the six Boeing C-17 Globemaster IIIs the RAAF operates.
Wednesday marked the first time an Aussie KC-30 hooked up to a fellow KC-30 that way. No fuel was transferred, but the crew made 14 successful ‘dry’ contacts. Airbus crews did similar test before with the KC-30.
The RAAF operates five KC-30As, the first being introduced in mid-2011. Each KC-30A can carry more than 100 tonnes of fuel.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): As seen from the cockpit of the receiving KC-30. (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)