The Airbus C295 tactical airlifter has successfully achieved its first wet contacts during an air-to-air (AAR) tanker flight test.
Airbus said that 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 C295 acting as receiver at flight speeds between 100-130 knots. In total, the aircraft fitted with the removable AAR kit, performed five wet contacts transferring a total 1.5 tons of fuel. Tests were conducted in day-light conditions.”
Captain Gabiña, the Spanish Air Force pilot who participated on the test campaign, said in a release:
“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.”
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 at a flight speed of 210 knots.
Airbus say that the successful tests will expand the C295’s trademark versatility for tactical operations to include refuelling missions for helicopters, transport and fighter aircraft.