Skip to comments.Boeing awarded $805 million contract for MQ-25 refueling drone.
Posted on 09/04/2018 12:23:33 PM PDT by MCF
The US Navy awarded Boeing on Thursday an $850 million contract to design and build the MQ-25A Stingray, the Navy's first carrier-based unmanned refueling aircraft.
(Excerpt) Read more at kmov.com ...
Refueling drone? I’m just going to say it out loud: We live in the future.
Bad news for the air refueling crews (Air Force/Navy/Marine) if it works out.
Refueling is certainly one of the unsexy parts of the defense systems, but nearly the entire length and breadth of our combat operational protocols are highly dependent on it.
My dad flew a KC-97. I wonder about the wisdom of not having someone manning the boom to keep an eye on things
First thing the planes do when they get up to altitude is refuel, usually. You can cruise for a LONG time on the amount of fuel it takes to actually get you up there.
My father used to work on B-52’s for SAC back in the early 60’s. Fun stories. :)
It’s one of those things that I suspect can be handled robotically. You would still have one pilot involved that would be near an abort switch.
I heard the navy scrapped it’s existing aerial tankers. And is now using super hornets with fuel pods to refuel other hornets. Which is like a sports car doing the job of a moving truck.
Next up: The drones to refuel the refueling drones.
In the future, war fought outside of US territories are going to be incredibly cheap in american lives. That is a bit troubling. The cheaper something is, the more of it you get.
I’m not saying I agree with the protestors, but the reason the anti-war movement couldn’t get any traction in the last gulf war was because they didn’t have body bags coming back in the tens of thousands.
When everyone knows a guy who died in the war, you are more sympathetic to ending it. When almost nobody does, it’s hard to get support for an anti-war movement. When Chicago has more shooting deaths of Americans than Afghanistan, well...
“Death, destruction, disease, horror. That’s what war is all about, Anan. That’s what makes it a thing to be avoided. You’ve made it neat and painless, so neat and painless you’ve had no reason to stop it!”
FYI, I’m a civilian and I personally knew one who gave all in Afghanistan, and am connected through others to another in Iraq.
Protest filed by Lockheed and General Atomics in 3, 2, 1...
That was painful to watch.
You heard correctly.
Yeah, especially with the embedded Bill Nelson commercial.
I agree, it is the whole concept of unmanned flight that I have tried to come to grips with. I honestly have never given much thought to unmanned refueling until I read this article. I don’t know why that would be such an advantage, but I’ll need to cogitate on it a bit.
I know I will probably feel somewhat stupid when someone gives me that good reason...
When I was in the USN, sending up a plane in bad weather to refuel another one when there was no place to land when a plane was approaching bingo fuel (with no land based divert available) I assumed was always a dicey proposition. I don’t think it happened often, but I know it happened.
I recall one time where the basket on a D-704 smashed into the canopy of a plane trying to refuel (canopy had to be replaced) and the basket became unusable, it began to do erratic figure eights. We had to load another buddy store onto another plane and launch it, and they did eventually refuel and get the plane down.
Interestingly, when we had to replace the canopy, they used it as a training exercise. In the hangar bay, they had a fully outfitted pilot strapped in, and they secured the inside of the cockpit in such a way there could be no canopy plastic that would fall somewhere and turn into FOD (Taped and sealed off everything) and the pilot used his survival knife to break through the canopy from the inside to simulate what it would be like if you ditched and couldn’t get the canopy open or blow it off.
It was very cool to watch. There were a lot of people watching (today it would probably be on YouTube) and I remember thinking as the pilot in full gear with his helmet on, visor down, and oxygen mask attached “There is no way he is going to be able to able to punch through that canopy with his knife...”
But he took that big knife with the serrated spine, and with both hands shoved it up and it went right through the canopy...he poked a few more times, and big chunks came out, he sawed a little, and within 30-60 seconds, he was able to stand up!
I was pretty amazed. I didn’t realize the curve of the canopy provided the same strength to an external intrusion that the dome of a person’s skull does, but from the inside...well, it is pretty weak!
I’ll bet. There were a lot of refuelings going on all the time, because at that time we were still maintaining the big routes in the air on which we had at least one or two B-52’s either outbound or inbound on those courses (I think there were five of them) that we had planes on patrol 24X7.
I think they did away with that in the mid-late sixties? (Some other Freepers probably know that exactly!) They probably stopped after the big accident off Spain.
I’ll bet your dad had some interesting stories...:)
So these drones are going to make carrier landings
with fuel remaining or are they going to just dump
I would imagine a bad landing with a lot of fuel left
would be dangerous to ship and crew.
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