Wing Commander George Roberts
"Air to Air Re-fuelling Over Kosovo"
Tuesday 4th March 2014
Tipsy Nipper, Fife Airport
So, you're up in the air and your fuel's getting low - how do you re-fuel your aircraft while you're up there? Well, some would say ..... "carefully!". Nevertheless, that's what RAF and US Air Force pilots do on a regular basis; sometimes to extend their "time in theatre", sometimes to increase their flyable range and sometimes to enable them to take off with greater ordnance tonnage (necessitating a reduced fuel load for take off weight).
But how does it all work?
On Tuesday 4th March, Wing Commander George Roberts from RAF Leuchars will reveal some of the techniques and show us some of the RAF re-fuelling activities in active operation over Kosovo.
Some of the earliest experiments in aerial refuelling took place in the 1920s; two slow-flying aircraft flew in formation, with a hose run down from a hand-held fuel tank on one aircraft and placed into the usual fuel filler of the other. The first mid-air refueling between two planes occurred on June 27, 1923, between two DH-4B biplanes of the United States Army Air Service.
Similar demonstrations of mid-air refueling technique were trialled at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in England and by the Armée de l'Air in France in the same year, but these early experiments were not regarded as a practical proposition at the time and were generally dismissed as stunts.
So, if you'd like to find out more about tanking up in the skies then please make a note of the date and come along and hear all about it.