Airbus has demonstrated Automatic Air-to-Air (A3R) refuelling of a A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) with A310 tanker.
In the 20 June flight off the southern Spanish coast, the Airbus A310 tanker performed the scheduled seven contacts with Royal Australian Air Force KC30A (A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (A330 MRTT)), over a two-hour test period.
KC30A is the Australian designation for the A330 MRTT with two under-wing refuelling pods and an Aerial Refuelling Boom System.
In the Air-to-Air refuelling system, “During initial approach of the receiver, boom control is performed by the tanker’s Air Refuelling Operator (ARO) as usual. Image processing then determines the receiver’s refuelling receptacle position and when the automated system is activated, a fully automated flight control system flies and maintains the boom aligned with the receiver’s receptacle.” T