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Air Platforms

A400M performs first ‘dry’ refuelling contact with helicopter

24 September 2019
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During trials, an A400M made dry aerial refuelling contacts with an H225M (right hose) while an H160 (left hose) conducted proximity tests. Source: Airbus

Airbus Defence and Space (DS) has performed the first air-to-air refuelling (AAR) contacts between the A400M tanker-transport aircraft and a helicopter, the company announced on 24 September.

The tests, which occurred over four flights, saw 51 'dry' (no fuel passed) contacts between an A400M tanker and an Airbus Helicopter H225M Caracal helicopter over southern France. The contacts were made between 1,000 ft and 10,000 ft altitude and at speeds as low as 105 kt.

The tests also included the first proximity trials between the A400M and an Airbus Helicopters H160 helicopter, which will be derived the Guépard future military multirole helicopter for the French armed forces.

As noted by Airbus DS, these tests were performed under the co-ordination of the French "DGA Essais en vol" flight test centre.

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