An A330 MRTT built for the Royal Australian Air Force completed another major program milestone when the A310 Boom demonstrator, used as test bed for the new EADS fly-by-wire boom, made a series of contacts during a flight test over waters off the coast of southwest Spain. Both aircraft departed from EADS facilities in Getafe, Madrid, where Airbus Military has the tanker conversion centre.
The A330 MRTT is equipped with two wing-tip mounted â€˜hose-and-drogueâ€™ refuelling pods, an advanced aerial refuelling boom in the tail, as well as complete capabilities in Military Navigation, Military Identification, MIL-COMs including a Tactical Data Link and Defensive Countermeasures equipment.
“This flight test represents a significant milestone in the program, as it is the first time that a contact between two different tankers developed on Airbus platforms has been performed” said Carlos Suarez, CEO of Airbus Military. “We are very pleased about the progress of the final test phase that commenced in December 2008 and look forward to completing the flight test program that will lead to final military certification and qualifica-tion.”
During this phase of the flight test campaign the aerodynamic configura-tion of the pods has been proven and several hose-deployed tests have been conducted at different altitudes and airspeeds. In addition several contacts between the A310 Boom and the A330 MRTT Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI) system located on top of the A330 MRTT aircraft have been made, showing, as expected, the excellent flying qualities of the A330 as a receiver aircraft. Also, the mili-tary avionics system has been tested successfully.