Boeing KC-46 First Flight

Seems like a valid place to ask, although I'm sure it has been asked before.

Why do the USAF use booms to POL their aircraft sans landing, but USMC and UK (and a few others) use drogues?

Is it flow rate, stability or ease of connection?
 
Boom gives you higher flow rates which is better for large aircraft - hence why USAF with its big aircraft use it and standardise it throughout.
Its more complex and requires a dedicated operator who has to "fly" the boom - so you cant fit it in small aircraft.
Drogue is simpler, can be fitted to small aircraft to buddy-buddy refuel, but has slower flow rates. If you're only refuelling Hornets and not B52's, its a cheaper option.
 
Fair enough.

I take it that's why the RAF operate it too, we don't really seem to go in for large body AAR.
 

Border-Reiver

Old-Salt
Fair enough.

I take it that's why the RAF operate it too, we don't really seem to go in for large body AAR.
We very much do. For the ISTAR Force, RAF E-3D and RJ boom tanked regularly on SHADER and continue to do so in training and on ops. P-8 will also require AAR when it comes in.

As far as AT goes, C-130 will regularly AAR, though that is probe and drogue.

Lack of a sovereign boom tanking capability is a limitation. But with next to no budget and many other priorities on the list, I don’t see it being solved any time soon.
 
We very much do. For the ISTAR Force, RAF E-3D and RJ boom tanked regularly on SHADER and continue to do so in training and on ops. P-8 will also require AAR when it comes in.

As far as AT goes, C-130 will regularly AAR, though that is probe and drogue.

Lack of a sovereign boom tanking capability is a limitation. But with next to no budget and many other priorities on the list, I don’t see it being solved any time soon.
It’s on the light blue aspiration list though.
 
Could a tanker have both? Boom and drogue?
 

Border-Reiver

Old-Salt
Could a tanker have both? Boom and drogue?
Yes, there are various platforms that do, the Airbus MRTT, and the USAF have the KC-135 and KC-10. There is also plans for a retro-fitted boom onto RAF Voyagers but as I said above, I don’t think we have the money.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
Retro-fitted?

Pronounced 'expensive' by any chance?
 

chrismcd

Old-Salt
What has the Special Relationship got to do with Airbus? Its HQ is in the Netherlands and France, its shares are traded on 4 European exchanges, none of which are in the UK, and its predecessors were French, German and Spanish. BAE used to own 20% of it, but was not a constituent company of Airbus (hence BAE still exists today as a separate company). The Broughton and Filton plants were contributed to Airbus during the BAE shareholding. BAE sold its Airbus shares 9 years ago.

There is no UK ownership of Airbus. Therefore no Special Relationship issues arise.
Just to add to the fun and games, Airbus is now the centre of a power struggle between the Germans and the French that was brought to a head by the failed merger with BAE.

After merger collapse, fractured Europe faces new battle over Airbus
 
Just to add to the fun and games, Airbus is now the centre of a power struggle between the Germans and the French that was brought to a head by the failed merger with BAE.

After merger collapse, fractured Europe faces new battle over Airbus
Known as the “Father of Airbus”, co-founder Roger Beteille reminded his audience, gathered in a vast new plane factory in Toulouse, how an industry once “devoted to destruction” had become a symbol of European unity in the decades after World War Two.
I'm assuming that Airbus has contributed to the peace and tranquillity that the EU has assured us?

They don't half lay it on thick, these continental types. We get it, you don't like being conquered. We don't either. We're just better at winning than you are. No need to get all emotional about it.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
We very much do. For the ISTAR Force, RAF E-3D and RJ boom tanked regularly on SHADER and continue to do so in training and on ops. P-8 will also require AAR when it comes in.

As far as AT goes, C-130 will regularly AAR, though that is probe and drogue.

Lack of a sovereign boom tanking capability is a limitation. But with next to no budget and many other priorities on the list, I don’t see it being solved any time soon.
Should've got that Airbus tanker, then. No, not that one. The other one.
 
Seems like a valid place to ask, although I'm sure it has been asked before.

Why do the USAF use booms to POL their aircraft sans landing, but USMC and UK (and a few others) use drogues?

Is it flow rate, stability or ease of connection?
To add to earlier answers:

Boom benefits: easier to get onto, higher transfer rate.
Boom negatives: harder to maintain connection, only one receiver at a time, can have a ‘Boom-Drogue-Attachment’ (BDA) attached pre-flight to allow drogue refuelling of fighters (but not heavies) although the BDA is notoriously difficult to tank from.

Drogue benefits: Easier to maintain contact, can tank several fighter receivers simultaneously, cheaper and easier to install.
Drogue negatives: more difficult to connect to, lower fuel transfer rate.

As you can see, both have their pros and cons. RAF E-3Ds are unique in being able to use both systems and we eternally preferred the boom as we could take the gas more quickly (which wa useful when you’re typically looking to suck 50-80K in a single gulp!).

As an aside, there are 3 sub-categories of drogue refuelling: rotary assets (generally done from specialised tankers such as the MC-130 via larger baskets)...

...fighter drogues (normally on the wing stations)...

...and centreline Hose Drum Units (HDU or ‘hoodoos’) for heavies which can only tank off a HDU.


Should've got that Airbus tanker, then. No, not that one. The other one.
Not enough money unfortunately.

Regards,
MM
 
To add to earlier answers:

Boom benefits: easier to get onto, higher transfer rate.
Boom negatives: harder to maintain connection, only one receiver at a time, can have a ‘Boom-Drogue-Attachment’ (BDA) attached pre-flight to allow drogue refuelling of fighters (but not heavies) although the BDA is notoriously difficult to tank from.

Drogue benefits: Easier to maintain contact, can tank several fighter receivers simultaneously, cheaper and easier to install.
Drogue negatives: more difficult to connect to, lower fuel transfer rate.

As you can see, both have their pros and cons. RAF E-3Ds are unique in being able to use both systems and we eternally preferred the boom as we could take the gas more quickly (which wa useful when you’re typically looking to suck 50-80K in a single gulp!).

As an aside, there are 3 sub-categories of drogue refuelling: rotary assets (generally done from specialised tankers such as the MC-130 via larger baskets)...

...fighter drogues (normally on the wing stations)...

...and centreline Hose Drum Units (HDU or ‘hoodoos’) for heavies which can only tank off a HDU.




Not enough money unfortunately.

Regards,
MM
I actually didn't realise POLing the aeroplanes was so complex!

I'm assuming that a heli can't use the smaller drogue?
 
Top