Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute
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Testing of filling cone controls completed

13 November 2013

Experts of TsAGI Aircraft and the Rocket Aerodynamics Department and Research & Development Production Enterprise Zvezda completed another testing stage of controlled cone sensor of an in-flight refueling unit.

The research was conducted in TsAGI’s subsonic tunnel T102 and was aimed at developing a fully automated in-flight aircraft refueling system. The work was carried out under the framework agreement on joint R&D projects between FSUE TsAGI and JSC “R&D PE Zvezda named after Academician G.I. Severin” in order to implement long-distance air service on medium-range aircraft with in-flight refueling. This air service technology reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by 20-25 percent as compared to air service on long-haul aircraft.

“The key and most difficult task that has to be solved for implementation of in-flight refueling technology in civil aviation is to ensure the required level of safety,” said Senior Research Officer of TsAGI Aircraft and Rocket Aerodynamics Department, PhD in Science Alexander Klimin “This problem can only be solved by creating an automated in-flight refueling process control system, providing the desired probability of successful refueling on the first attempt.”

In this pilot phase, experts examined the option of controls designed as sliding plates on the filling cone shell, increasing its stability in disturbed airflow caused by atmospheric turbulence and movement of tanker and refueled plane. Test results confirm the possibility of development of an effective automated in-flight refueling process control system.

TsAGI Press Service
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