First Air-to-Air Refueling (AAR) by A400M Tanker

Issue: 11 / 2019

Airbus Defence and Space has announced that it has performed the first AAR contacts between the A400M tankertransport aircraft and a helicopter. The tests, which were carried out over four flights, saw 51 ‘dry’, which means no fuel passed, contacts between an A400M tanker and an Airbus Helicopter H225M Caracal helicopter. 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. The A400M is certified to be quickly configured as a tanker, not requiring a dedicated aircraft version. The A400M carries up to 111,600 lb of fuel in its wings and centre wing box, without compromising any cargo hold area.