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Author Topic: Airbus tanker plane for Australia damaged in test  (Read 2517 times)
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« on: 23 January 2011, 06:56:41 »

Airbus tanker plane for Australia damaged in test
Thu, Jan 20 2011

PARIS, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Airbus Military is investigating the loss of part of a refuelling boom over the Atlantic during testing of a tanker plane being developed for the Royal Australian Air Force.
The European planemaker does not expect the incident to delay the first delivery of the aircraft, which is scheduled for February, a spokesman said on Thursday.

However, the mishap comes at a critical time for Airbus parent EADS (EAD.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) as the United States evaluates whether to buy tanker planes from the European group or rival Boeing (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in a contract worth up to $50 billion.

A decision on that deal is expected as early as next month.

The incident happened over the Atlantic on Wednesday at 1600 GMT during inflight testing between an EADS MRTT tanker plane and a Portuguese air force F-16 fighter, the spokesman said.

The boom, or refuelling arm, was damaged when it lost one of its two stabilising fins, making the device uncontrollable.
The cause of the incident was not reported.

"We are flying in almost operational conditions," the spokesman said. "We hope to determine the origin of the malfunction and proceed with deliveries. At this point we don't see any delay in the first delivery next month," he said.
The damaged aircraft was not among the first two planes due to be delivered to Australia.
Both EADS and Boeing have experienced technical problems or delays with their most recently sold tanker aircraft. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; editing by Alexander Smith)


We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld


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« Reply #1 on: 23 January 2011, 10:54:13 »

general video on air to air refueling: http://youtu.be/CfWONx4riag

Airbus Military - A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT)

A330 MRTT website: http://www.a330mrtt.com/
more videos: http://www.a330mrtt.com/Multimedia/Video.aspx
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« Reply #2 on: 23 January 2011, 14:40:50 »

For the Record: Losing a fin is nothing special, the incident rate is around 5% of refuelings.

I cannot say whether this was "induced" as in "provoked" by the Portugese fighter (I am a cynic, remember? There are 300.000.000 $ in play and having such an incident just a few days before decision making: Go figure!), but I can say that those things happen, and on a regular basis. It just made the media because of the above mentioned decision:

Maneuvering at those low speeds within buffets and tightly observed precision required simply can do this to your boom (or your plane):

Failed Air Refueling

Midair Refueling Mishap


"War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left...": The Rattler Way Of Life (thanks! to Solideo)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9v3Vyr5o2Q
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