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and then

First Manned Aircraft to Drone Refueling

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ChrLzs

Odd - both photos released show the drone and the aircraft significantly banking...  That seems very odd when doing a maneuver that requires high precision steadiness from the two aircraft - why would they not be in straight level flight?

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33 minutes ago, ChrLzs said:

Odd - both photos released show the drone and the aircraft significantly banking...  That seems very odd when doing a maneuver that requires high precision steadiness from the two aircraft - why would they not be in straight level flight?

Funny, I didn't notice that.  Perhaps the Hornet had to adjust to the drone but I can't imagine that ever being a superior means of refueling.

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Hammerclaw
Posted (edited)

Maybe not a real photo. Look at the light and shadows on the plane compared to the drone. The second below looks more convincing. The Drone must be in a holding pattern while refueling.

See the source image

Edited by Hammerclaw
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DreadLordAvatar

Old technology 

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Jon the frog

Don't know the fuel payload of that thing ? It doesnt look a lot more than buddy refueling from another f-18..

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7 hours ago, DreadLordAvatar said:

Old technology 

How so?  Who else is already using the concept?

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16 minutes ago, Jon the frog said:

Don't know the fuel payload of that thing ? It doesnt look a lot more than buddy refueling from another f-18..

Good question that the piece didn't expand on.  The drone looks to be at least 50% larger than the F-18 and is basically an engine, airframe, and fuel tank.  I think it's an interesting concept and I'm pretty sure they'll use it on missions where there is no possibility of using conventional tanking for whatever reason.  It'd be nice to see what they envision.  If the drone has significant ability to loiter safely near a mission way-point it would be the dream of a certain middle east air force I can think of...

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Jon the frog
14 hours ago, and then said:

Good question that the piece didn't expand on.  The drone looks to be at least 50% larger than the F-18 and is basically an engine, airframe, and fuel tank.  I think it's an interesting concept and I'm pretty sure they'll use it on missions where there is no possibility of using conventional tanking for whatever reason.  It'd be nice to see what they envision.  If the drone has significant ability to loiter safely near a mission way-point it would be the dream of a certain middle east air force I can think of...

Looked a bit about numbers, the mq-25  is to be able to deliver 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) of fuel, a f-18f hornet with buddy refueling tanks payload of four 460 usg wing tanks can deliver about 12500 lb of fuel if he don't use the fuel in his internal tanks. Well it could be a good improvement because they cost probably less per hours than a f-18f with two pilots... and the mk25 can loiter probablya lot more per fuel used.

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Jon the frog
fred_mc

I think in the future the fighter will be unmanned too, so a tanker drone will refuel a fighter drone.

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