An Airbus Military A330 MRTT Future Strategic Transport Aircraft (FSTA) for the UK's Royal Air Force has successfully completed its first contacts with a Tornado fighter.
The two aircraft performed a series of dry contacts, by day and night, in late June / early July during a programme to formally qualify the Tornado to refuel from the FSTA in operational service. Wet contacts, in which fuel is actually passed from the tanker to the receiver, will commence shortly.
During sorties conducted from RAF Boscombe Down with the support of Qinetiq, the Tornado executed contacts with the A330 MRTT's underwing hose-and-drogue pods at altitudes between 10,000ft and 30,000ft and speeds of 250-325kt
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