Cobham’s Air-to-Air Refuelling systems and modelling expertise has been used by the MoD to help achieve F-35 receiver clearance for mid-air refuelling from Voyager.
This is the first time that AAR modelling and simulation has been applied to the AAR Clearance process for a receiver aircraft and represents a significant step forward in this field.
Henry Clarke, Cobham’s Simulation and Modelling Manager explains:
“We use modelling to help our customers test the performance and boundaries of our AAR equipment in a highly accurate and realistic way. Our aim is to provide them with enough substantiated evidence that they can minimize the number of flight trials needed to test the equipment thus saving a great deal of time and cost, as well as reducing pilot and aircraft risk.
To support the MOD we validated our High fidelity AAR system model against existing flight test results and were then able to accurately reproduce the refuelling environment for the Voyager and F-35. Within this simulated reality, we were able to thoroughly test the performance of the Aircraft AAR systems across the whole refuelling envelope.”
Cobham provides the Wing Air Refuelling Pods and Centre-line Refuelling Systems on the RAF Voyager as well as the probe on the F35B (STOVL variant) and F-35C (carrier variant).