The U.S. Navy made history by refueling an airborne manned jet with an unmanned tanker drone.
A Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet took off from the the MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois for a roughly four-hour flight last week in the history-making attempt.
NAVAIR stated of the refueling by the unmanned air vehicle (UAV): “During the flight, the receiver Navy F/A-18 [Super] Hornet approached the Boeing-owned MQ-25 T1 test asset, conducted a formation evaluation, wake survey, drogue tracking and then plugged with the unmanned aircraft. T1 then successfully transferred fuel from its Aerial Refueling Store (ARS) to the F/A-18. The milestone comes after 25 T1 flights, testing both aircraft and ARS aerodynamics across the flight envelope, as well as extensive simulations of aerial refueling using MQ-25 digital models. MQ-25 T1 will continue flight testing prior to being shipped to Norfolk, Virginia, for deck handling trials aboard a U.S. Navy carrier later this year.”
USNI News reports that 325 pounds of fuel was supplied