Airbus Defence and Space (DS) is developing a number of new capabilities for its C295 medium-lift transport aircraft that are designed to enhance its support and special forces functionalities, it was disclosed on 2 November.
Speaking at the company's Seville facility during the annual Trade Media Briefing (TMB), head of engineering Miguel Angel Morell said that new air-to-air refuelling (AAR) and 'extreme' short take-off and landing (XTOL) capabilities are planned for the twin-turboprop airlifter in the coming months.
"The AAR Refuelling Kit is an incremental upgrade to the C295 [and CN235] that is designed to provide aerial refuelling for helicopters and other slow-movers, [while] XTOL involves being more aggressive with the STOL capabilities of the aircraft for use by special forces in war," he said.
For the AAR Refuelling Kit, Airbus DS has refined the hose-and-drogue tanking system with a Hose Sensor Computer to make the operation of connecting with receiver aircraft much simpler. As Morell noted; "Hose-and-drogue is a simple concept, but there is currently no control in the hose for the tanker aircraft. This Hose Sensor Computer system will measure the tension in the hose during the contact, which is important as it allows the torque in the [hose] drum to be managed to avoid tension in the hose which can cause damage."
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