On Monday, the U.S. Navy announced that it had achieved a historic milestone. A Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet made connection with a MQ-25 Stingray Drone in the sky. The drone transferred 325 pounds of fuel, midair to the Hornet. The navy also released stunning footage that showed the refueling between the two machines on Friday, during the test flight.
The two aircraft came as close 20 feet during the refueling operation. They flew at speeds consistent to those in the field. The jet received fuel from the drone’s Aerial Refueling Store (ARS). The drone had a hose at the back and the Super Hornet fighter jet connected to this hose and received fuel from the drone’s Aerial Refueling Store (ARS), midair.
The drone is a part of Boeing’s fleet of drones. The Navy said that it is analyzing the data that it has received from the test flight and make changes, if necessary. Both Boeing and the U.S. Navy said that they plan to conduct more air-to air fueling tests.
Many of those in the U.S. Navy, who have been a part of these historic joint operations with Boeing, hailed the successful operation. They have said that it would lead to future successes that could involve manned and unmanned aircrafts. They also spoke of freeing key navy personnel who had refueling tasks in the past. They also mentioned that these navy personnel could be deployed for other operations.
Boeing Defense Space & Security Division also hailed the event and said that it was keen on delivering MQ-25 Drone’s critical air fueling operations to the U.S. Navy’s fleet at the earliest. This operation has immense advantages for both Boeing and the U.S. Navy.