SCEINCE

The engineering behind refueling a fighter in mid-air

The procedure can lead to a potentially fatal collision.

Air refueling consists in transferring fuel from a tank to a receiver in the air. It may seem very scary and unpredictable, but it is quite useful, allowing planes to fly longer and farther. However, this is a complex procedure that must be undertaken with great care and attention.

This is because the tanker has a relatively small area for safely refueling an aircraft, which leads to two risks: going too far and violating the area.
Violation of the area is the most dangerous, as it can damage not only the refueling equipment, but also the aircraft itself, leading to a fatal collision.

This is not an exaggeration, but a great fact, because in 1966 air refueling caused a collision known as the Palomares accident, which resulted in the destruction of both planes, seven of the 11 crew members lost their lives. , and the radioactive flight load of the receiver contaminated a crash site.

What precautions are the military taking to make these missions safer? How many methods of refueling in the air exist? Which are the safest and which are the most risky? How can pilots handle these processes with greater safety and care? We answer all these questions and offer you footage of them risky maneuvers you don’t want to miss.





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