The U.S. military's new tanker details exposure, this type of inventory development trajectory, the Russian response is very interesting
According to media reports, the U.S. Air Force aircraft KC-46A air refueling in repeatedly bounced, scheduled for delivery in October this year, but because of some problems appeared again in September test, can not ensure the delivery on time. Nevertheless, after all, is gradually close to the delivery of the U.S. Air Force on it is full of expectations, is looking forward to.
Call - Birth Model
Air refueling performance hand hose
The so-called air refueling machine, is a kind of special transport aircraft, capable of carrying large amounts of fuel, and flying planes in the air (including helicopters) refuel.
The plane from its inception, has been valued military experts. But the plane voyage mileage and time depends on the amount of fuel. The car or ship the fuel can stop for refueling, the plane did not have oil fell from the sky, so more emphasis on fuel. If every time must return to the ground fuel, not only a waste of time, but also subject to the place. In addition, if it is loaded with the missile ammunition bomber, landing and explosion danger. In this case, air refueling came into being.
One of the earliest air refueling, is in the United states. In 1921, American Willy Mey put 5 gallons of aviation gasoline cans tied to the back, from a Lincoln aircraft wing, climbed to another plane flight JN 24 Jeanne aircraft wing, and then poured into the tank of aviation gasoline engine fuel tank. Of course, this is simply aerial acrobatics.
The plane of the aircraft refueling for the first time in 1923, in California, the two aircraft flying in the air, the formation of up and down, double distance unchanged. Hose 10 meters long above the plane down a passenger station in the cockpit of a plane below, took the hose, jacked into own aircraft fuel tank. Then, the fuel injected along the hose, the following aircraft fuel tank. This all by hand pinch hose refueling, is not stable, the operation is difficult, there is no what practical value. But this opportunity, developed countries began to study special air refueling equipment, and carry heavy loads or transport bombers converted into air refueling.
When refueling, the first two machines must be one after the flight, maintain speed, relative distance unchanged, refueling in front of the receiver in the post. Then, slowly release the tanker refueling pipe, oil machine "top up", and the filling pipe connection, and then delivering fuel.
In 1933, a Soviet TB 1 bomber developed by A.H. Zhapanuowannei refueling equipment, to a P - 5 reconnaissance aircraft for aerial refueling. In 1934, the United States also developed air refueling equipment. During the Second World War began to combat aerial refueling technology. In mid 40s, the British developed mature hose and plug sleeve device. 1948, the US Air Force will be the development of refueling equipment installed in their KB-29 and KB-50 filling machine. 3 1949 2, America B50 bomber flying 37532 km, completed a circumnavigation of the globe, the way through the 4 KB29M air refueling tanker.
50 in the early 1980s, the United States developed more advanced refueling equipment -- hard tube (telescopic). The hose is light, the refueling equipment more stable, but at the same time synchronization requirements of two planes is also higher. Soon the Soviet Union also developed similar refueling equipment. Aerial refueling technology has been further improved. In 1957, U.S. 5 B - 52 strategic bombers achieved more than 40 hours of flight, therefore dispatched 98 aircraft KC 97 tankers to refuel.
Soldiers act tough and talk soft.
Using the hose and hard tube to refuel
Air refueling mostly by aircraft and bombers refitted, the advantage is the carrying capacity, installed, supply capacity, less in part by the fighter refitted, advantage is flexible, more convenient for gas to the same type of fighter.
Oil tanker equipment, according to the position of general "refueling platform" and "refueling pod" 2. "Refueling platform" is installed in the rear fuselage, "refueling pod" is suspended under the wings. In accordance with the connector form, there are two kinds of hose and hard tube.
The hose type air refueling equipment at the end of 40s by the British pioneered, including a 20 meter long hose, with retractable winch, the end is a funnel type floating anchor. The receiver needs in front of a head or wing mounted by tubing. Refueling when refueling hose of the winch from outside the plane, the receiver aircraft themselves by tubing inserted into the funnel, the two seal connected, and then you can start delivering fuel. Such as charge, by the reducer, plug and funnel automatically from the two planes separated.
Hose refueling equipment benefits first is a very simple structure, then a tanker can also release several hose, gas to several aircraft, even if the two motion has some deviation, the elastic hose connection can be ensured safety. The disadvantage is the need to be inserted into the plug hose, difficult for pilots; under atmospheric turbulence is more difficult when the connection. At the same time, because the hose itself limited endurance, the filling speed is slow, about a minute to lose more than 1 tons of oil. If there is gas guzzling aircraft, takes a relatively long time. The refueling hose are S-3B, KC-130, 707-200.
Hard tube filling machine slightly later than the hose, began operation in December 1949. Hard tube filling machine is a rigid retractable telescopic tube, usually folded, filling out, can the rotation angle in a certain range and level, by professional personnel refueling operation. Refueling, refueling machine out of plane truss rod, and then the oil to keep up, making between the two machines are very close. At this time, the oil does not move by aircraft, refueling refueling operator control rod stretching and rotation, and make the oil machine on the tubing connection. It can be seen that the largest pipe refueling refueling hose is not improved, the receiver to chase the shaking, but a special operation to insert the oil filling pipe machine. This is obviously easier than aircraft chase aircraft precise operation.
In addition to "both hard and soft" hybrid, such as the United States Air Force KC-135 series, the tail end of the fuel rod, and the development of a funnel type hose equipment. So, can also for filling with two kinds of oil for aircraft.
Soldiers and glorious history
The aircraft aerial refueling attack on Egypt
During the cold war, aerial refueling technology gradually mature, widely used in actual combat. As the saying goes, "An army marches on its stomach., on air, fuel is the most important forage. Rely on supplementary dispensers, can prolong the residence time and air fighter flight, even achieve tactical surprise attack the enemy to detour.
In 1967 third Middle East War, the Israeli attack on egyptian. Israeli warplanes after takeoff, and not directly to the southwest into eastern Egypt, but greatly to the west through the Mediterranean, by air refueling, around to the west of Egypt, from the back into Egypt, in one fell swoop destroyed more than 400 aircraft airport in egypt.
The Falklands war, the armed forces are using air refueling to expand the air force's combat radius. The British war in order to ensure control of the air make light of travelling a thousand li, in addition to the aircraft carrier, aircraft parts, refueling machine implementation of the relay is very important. The Vulcan bombers took off from the the Atlantic base, after refueling hit 5000 kilometers of the airport island. Argentina's "super Etendard fighter is in the air refueling sank the British" Sheffield "missile destroyer and" the Atlantic transport "container ship.
In 1986, the United States to Libya Al-qaddafi bombarded, F-111 fighter bombers took off from the British base, gas by 29 aircraft fleet of 8 air refueling, more than 7000 km detour raids, destroyed Libya's missile base. In the Gulf War, the U. s.military invested thousands of aircraft bombing of Iraq, spent a total of 308 aircraft refueling, completed more than 5 times the air refueling mission. The war in Kosovo, NATO deployed 240 tankers, implemented a total of 14 thousand air refueling. Since then, both the Afghanistan war and the Iraq war or the war in Syria, military "overseas long-range strike" is emphasized, air refueling has become an indispensable point of air supply behoove.
Call - the advent of history
The advent of KC-46A striking one snag after another
KC-46A is a modified Boeing 767 to the tanker, is used to replace the U.S. C-135 tanker, a new generation of products. However, it was described as striking one snag after another.
Due to the frequent military intervention in regional affairs, remote operations demand, the U.S. military currently has one of the world's most massive refueling units, including more than 400 aircraft converted from C-135 aircraft KC-135 tanker. This aircraft is the earliest service in 1956, the latest one is also in service in 1964, is now served for more than 50 years. Although after many upgrades, but now C-135 is old, the maintenance of the year are huge overhead. The 50 KC-10 tankers, was first served in 1981 years, a relatively new, but too big, heavy, not suitable for large-scale armed forces. Therefore, the urgent need of a new tanker.
As a replacement is to modify the Boeing tanker aircraft in 767-200 commercial aircraft on the basis, in 2002 was named KC-767A. However, in December 2003, because of corruption scandals broke, the contract is terminated.
However, KC-767A technology is not what problem. The Italy air force and the Japanese air self defense force were ordered 4 KC-767. It can be said that basically is a mature product. In 2005, the first flight of the KC-767. The installation of Boeing advanced aerial refueling vessels and remote aerial refueling operator II system ", for all the Western fighter refueling, up to 8 aircraft refueling time, more than KC-135 of 20% loaded fuel.
Because KC-767 is to stop the main political problem rather than technical problems, the U.S. military demand for new tankers is imminent. So in February 2011, the U.S. air force to the Boeing KC-767. But, in order to distinguish and last scandal. This is a model named KC-46A. Compared to KC-767 KC-46, a new design, greatly enhance the performance. 2011 orders including 179 aircraft KC-46A.
In December 28, 2014, the prototype of KC-46A for 35 hours the first flight. Since then, many times of flight. However, perhaps because of some disadvantages of KC-46A KC-767 in attempt to make up for the use of emerging, and these improvements brought new situation, so the delivery date has been repeatedly delayed. The earliest delivery plan 2016 years later, delayed until 2017. Once the program is delivered in 2018 years 10 months. But look at the situation, may not be able to finish on time. In addition, due to prolonged lead to price increases, the current orders have been from the earliest 179 reduced to 34, the price of up to $147 million 400 thousand.
Soldiers - wing Depot
The performance parameters of KC-46A and use thereof
As one of the world's new air refueling aircraft, KC-46A has greatly improved than KC-135, compared to its abort contract refer to KC-767 is further improved. In the design, including the digital flight deck, a Boeing 787Dreamliner electronic display, the crew can directly display the command, improve combat maneuverability. The tanker has advanced KC-10 refueling boom, increased fuel efficiency and flight path control system.
KC-46A uses 767-2C commercial aircraft widebody aircraft layout, both pilots and 1 refueling operator. The captain of 50.5 meters, with a wingspan of 47.6 meters, 15.9 meters high, weight 82 tons, maximum takeoff weight of 188 tons, oil containing 96 tons (more than 20 tons more than KC-767), the maximum fuel capacity of 94 tons.
The use of twin Pratt & Whitney PW4062 turbofan engine, each thrust of 282 kn. The maximum speed of 0.86 Maher, a cruising speed of 0.8 Maher. The maximum lift height of 12200 meters, a maximum range of 12000 kilometers, more than 4000 kilometers (more than KC-135. It can also accept other aircraft aerial refueling, refueling after around the world.
KC-46A installation of advanced fly by wire by KC-10 gas pipe and gas pipe to upgrade. The main equipment is gas pipe, oil can be 1200 gallons per minute (about 4500 liters), 300 gallons of more than KC-767, with a full time independent disconnection and full-time load weight capacity. In addition, KC-46A pumps and 3 side hose refueling equipment, gas rate per pair of the hose is 400 gallons per minute (about 1500 liters). 3 pairs of hose refueling equipment through the pod control system. The gas operation platform through the photoelectric system generated 3D display images, greatly improve the technical content, operation convenience and reliability to a new level.
In addition to air refueling, KC-46A uses its carrying capacity is strong, also can change the use as transport. In addition, the use of KC-46A including graphite carbon fiber, Kevlar and other new materials has better structural strength and service life, but also reduces the empty weight. KC-46A in the transport of goods, can seamless defense transportation system with the United States, can be compatible with the loader of the United States Air force. In the implementation of medical evacuation missions, he can one-time evacuation of 54 patients and related equipment, machine and equipped with oxygen and emergency power supply.
Military aircraft relative to civil aircraft another big improvement is the self protection. KC-46A uses a radar warning receiver, cockpit armor, Link-16 data chain and digital display, in addition to electromagnetic pulse protection and infrared countermeasure equipment, battlefield survivability.
International call connection:
The old rivals are also in the development of new tankers - Il -78 series
As America's old rival, Russian troops also recently developed a new refueling machine, namely, IL -78M-90A. In November 29, 2017, the first Ilyushin -78M-90A tanker prototype ceremony in Ulyanovsk held "aviation star -SP" aircraft factory. The tanker is produced in the R & D on the basis of the military transport aircraft IL -76MD-90A. According to the Russian military requirements, the tanker must be able to switch to transport performance in necessary conditions can install fire-fighting equipment.
IL -78M-90A IL -78 series is the latest type filling machine. The 78 is from the Soviet Union and Ilyushin IL -76 military transport aircraft refitted, the official service in 1987. IL -78 is 46.6 meters long, 14.8 meters high, with a wingspan of 50.5 meters, weight 98 tons, maximum takeoff weight of 190 tons, a maximum speed of 0.77 Maher, lift off distance of 12000 meters, the maximum supply of 65 tons, sailing 1000 kilometers for other aircraft refueling 60 tons. The voyage is greatly improved after IL 78-M increased due to the addition of the third metal tank, the maximum amount of oil increased to 106 tons. Before the disintegration of the Soviet Union, produced a total of 45 IL -78 and IL -78M tankers, currently serving in the Russian military and about 20. However, these two tankers are used in the refueling hose.
The improved that IL -78M IL -78M-90A, the use of more advanced airborne equipment and refueling device, add L370 "Vitebsk" airborne active defense system / DIRCM system can deal with infrared and laser guided missile threat.
The UK is starting the future strategic tanker aircraft (FSTA) project, plans to purchase 30 tankers, 24 aircraft to replace the aging VC-10 and 10 L10-11. The British Air Force 3 of the existing tanker Squadron, the main models for the homemade vc-10K "winner", the captain of 48.36 meters, wingspan 44.55 meters, 12.04 meters high, the empty weight of 63 tons, maximum takeoff weight of 152 tons, a maximum range of 9400 km, 1978 years of development.
Source: Beijing evening news Yang Yi