Airbus C295 Performs Wet Contacts as a Tanker

The Airbus C295 tactical airlifter has successfully achieved its first wet contacts during an air-to-air (AAR) tanker flight test campaign, the company announced.

The first dry contacts of this flight test took place in December 2019 and were achieved using a closed ramp configuration, 100ft hose, and remote vision system. The wet contacts, conducted out of Seville, Spain, took place in January 2020, between one Airbus C295 aircraft in tanker configuration and a Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire) C295 acting as the receiver aircraft at flight speeds between 100-130 knots.

In total, the aircraft fitted with the removable AAR kit performed five wet contacts transferring a total of 1.5 tons of fuel. These tests were conducted in day-light conditions.

“The degree of difficulty in flight test is always high since it involves performing manoeuvers that no one has done before. It should be noted that due to the positive behaviour of the aircraft, the operation has been good and straight forward”, said Captain Gabiña, the Spanish Air Force pilot who participated in the test campaign.

The flight test campaign also included night flight operations and the successful proximity test in pre-contact position with a Spanish Air Force F-18 fighter aircraft at a flight speed of 210 knots.

Proximity tests between an Airbus C295 tanker aircraft and a Spanish Air Force F18 fighter jet.  Airbus Photo.
Proximity tests between an Airbus C295 tanker aircraft and a Spanish Air Force F18 fighter jet. Airbus Photo.

The successful tests will expand the C295’s trademark versatility for tactical operations to include refuelling missions for helicopters, transport and fighter aircraft.



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