January 31, 2008 The Boeing KC-767 tanker aircraft has successfully transferred fuel to an F-15E at night – a world first manoeuvre for that model. Transferring fuel through a boom, via the remote vision system, and during night-time conditions, will significantly reduce risk for future tanker customers like the U.S. Air Force.
The KC-767 departed from McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, and flew a three hour and nine minute flight, connecting to the F-15E 11 times in dusk and night conditions. It successfully offloaded fuel through its fifth-generation, fly-by-wire boom, a telescoping tube used to deliver fuel to military aircraft. The advanced boom builds on the aerodynamic shape and size of previous systems, and provides more precise and responsive controls to the operator. With 2,600 fewer parts than previous booms, it also is easier to maintain.
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"Using our remote vision system, I was impressed with the quality of the picture and my ability to accurately see details of the F-15E and its refueling receptacle at night," said Rickey Kahler, Boeing KC-767 chief test boom operator.