Airbus Military has completed all the flight tests required for the daylight certification of the new generation hose-and drogue refuelling system on the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).
This paves the way towards the formal military certification of the system from Spain’s INTA certification authority this summer.
The A330 MRTTT is fitted with the Cobham 905 system, which provides refuelling from under-wing pods. It is the most advanced hose and drogue refuelling system currently available. Testing covered all of the flight envelope required to certify the aircraft handling qualities with the hose-and-drogue deployed, and included a wide range of manoeuvres both in free-flight and in coupled mode with Spanish Air Force F‑18 fighters.
“Following civil certification of the A330 MRTT on 17th March 2010, the completion of this flight-test phase is a further major step towards final military certification of the aircraft”, says Airbus Military Head of Derivatives, Antonio Caramazana.
Meanwhile, flight testing of the Airbus Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) is also progressing well and will be completed shortly. Delivery of the first A330 MRTT will be to the Royal Australian Air Force later this year. About the A330 MRTT
The Airbus Military A330 MRTT is the most advanced and most cost-effective Multi Role Tanker/Transport aircraft flying today. The large 111 tonnes/ 245,000 lb basic fuel capacity of the successful A330-200 airliner, from which it is derived, enables the A330 MRTT to excel in Air-to-Air Refuelling missions without the need for any additional fuel tank The A330 MRTT is offered with a choice of proven air refuelling systems including an advanced Airbus Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System, and/or a pair of under-wing hose and drogue pods, and/or a fuselage refuelling unit.
Thanks to its true wide-body fuselage, the A330 MRTT can also be used as a pure transport aircraft able to carry up to 300 troops, or a payload of up to 45 tonnes/99,000 lb. It can also easily be converted to accommodate up to 130 stretchers for Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC). In summary the A330 MRTT is the most efficient aircraft of its kind. To-date, a total of 28 A330 MRTTs have been ordered by four customers (Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom), with one (Saudi Arabia) having already placed a repeat order.