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AAR Phase 1 Aircraft Refueling

F/A-18 Automated Aerial Refueling (AAR) Phase 1

Movie Number   EM-0053-01
Movie Date   December 2002
Formats   160x120 QuickTime Movie (1.9 MB)
320x240 QuickTime Movie (3.7 MB)
480x360 QuickTime Movie (5.7 MB)
640x480 QuickTime Movie (9.5 MB)
Automated Aerial Refueling Still photos of the Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests (ALT) are available in several resolutions at

This 53 second movie clip shows an F/A-18 Automated Aerial Refueling (AAR).

Engineers at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center are evaluating the capability of an F/A-18A aircraft as an in-flight refueling tanker to develop analytical models for an automated aerial refueling system for unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).

The Automated Aerial Refueling (AAR) project is documenting how an operational tanker's drogue basket responds when in the presence of the receiver aircraft. Currently little flight-obtained dynamics data exists. For this modeling study, a second F/A-18 is flying as the receiver aircraft.

The F/A-18A tanker aircraft is undergoing flight test envelope expansion with an aerodynamic pod containing air-refueling equipment carried beneath the fuselage. During the 1990s, the refueling pod was integrated on the newer F/A-18E/F. According to AAR project engineers, the objectives of the recent flights at NASA Dryden are to demonstrate the operational flight envelope and to assess the free-stream hose and drogue dynamics on the earlier model F/A-18s.

Keywords   Dryden; AAR; Automated Aerial Refueling; UAV; F/A-18; Dryden Flight Research Center
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