Airbus C295W demonstrates air-to-air refueling capability
On the 29th of September 2016, Airbus Defence and Space has successfully demonstrated the Airbus C295W medium transport as an airborne tanker. The C295W, equipped with a palletized air-to-air refueling unit and associated computer control system, conducted multiple contacts with a standard Spanish Air Force C295.
The crews reported extremely smooth operation at various speeds as low as 110 knot/h (203 km/h). The system is intended for refueling turboprop aircraft, helicopters, and eventually unmanned aerial vehicles. Possible applications include special operations and extending the range of search and rescue aircraft. Further trials with a helicopter receiver are planned before the end of the year.
The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G turboprop engines. First delivered in 2001, the C295 is a developed version of the well-known CN235, offering greater capacity and range.
C295 is a new generation of tactical airlifter which is able to carry up to nine tons of payload or up to 71 personnel, at a maximum cruise speed of 260 knot/h (480 km/h). It can cruise at altitudes up to 25,000 feet (7,620 meters), while retaining short take-off & landing (STOL) performance.
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