History in aerial refueling: for the first time, fighter plane refueled by unmanned aircraft

The first refueling of its kind was carried out after 25 test flights by the remotely-piloted refueling aircraft, as well as many simulator tests

Photo: Boeing

A fighter plane was refueled using an unmanned aircraft for the first time. The MQ-25A Stingray drone, made by Boeing, successfully refueled an American F-18 Super Hornet fighter. It took place last week, and according to the Janes website, it was an important milestone in the history of aerial refueling.   

Boeing said that the F-18 fighter flew in formation behind the MQ-25A for some time to ensure the safety, equal speed and altitude of the two aircraft, one of which was unmanned. A distance of 6.1 meters was maintained between the two aircraft, and then the aerial refueling was carried out via special drogue that passed fuel from the Stingray to the Super Hornet.

The first operational refueling of its kind was carried out after 25 test flights by the remotely-piloted refueling aircraft, as well as many simulator tests. Boeing also said that it will continue to carry out various tests, such as ones on the deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.   

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