Top facts on air-to-air refueling

While it doesn’t happen as often with commercial airlines, Scott Beale maintains that one of the biggest breakthroughs the aviation industry ever enjoyed is air-to-air refueling. While the concept first emerged in the 1920s, it wasn’t until the 1950s that it was successfully done in an official capacity.

Image source: aviation.stackexchange.com

Today, with the advancement of refueling technology, probe-and-drogue and flying boom systems are the main avenues for air-to-air refueling. The probe-and-drogue system is easier to use, while the flying boom makes air-to-air refueling a lot quicker, albeit with the need of a human operator for the boom.

Air-to-air refueling has been a huge help, especially in long distance flights. And with the technology constantly evolving, larger planes will soon take to the skies to refuel. Currently, the Stratotanker sits at the forefront of air-to-air refueling. However, Boeing has been developing its own refueling plane with a 120,000-pound fuel capacity.

Scott Beale also mentions how air-to-air refueling may in fact be the future of commercial air travel, with a number of airlines already adopting aerial refueling in many of their long distance flights.

Image source: navyrecognition.com

What do you think of air-to-air refueling? Would you choose a flight that requires air-to-air refueling over one that requires you to stop over in another airport? Feel free to share your thoughts with Scott Beale in the comments section below.

Scott Beale is an aviation professional whose expertise in commercial sales and marketing of aviation products, government contracting, FAA certifications, maintenance report operations, and startup operations has led the companies he piloted to achieve revenue growth and various certifications. For related posts on travel and aviation, go to this link.

Advertisements

What are the advantages of a blended wing body aircraft?

For the longest time, commercial airlines have used the same tube and wing design. Regardless of how many engines or even size, the main design is still the same. There is one design which may be applicable for commercial use, the blended wing body design.

70059main_2003-81-01
                                                          Image source: nasa.gov

A blended wing body or a BWB aircraft has a hybrid shape that resembles a flying wing but also incorporates some features from commercial planes. Its airframe merges efficient high-lift wings with a wide airfoil-shaped body. This allows for the entire aircraft to generate lift instead of just the wings. By minimizing drag, this shape will help fuel economy while creating more areas for cargo and passengers alike.

The blended wing body design isn’t anything new. In fact, it was designed decades ago, and certain planes have already incorporated the design. The famous BWB plane has to be the B-2 bomber and the YB-49. The YB-49 was developed in the 1940s and used composite materials that are stronger and lighter compared to conventional metal planes. BWB planes are also known for having several control surfaces on the trailing edge as demonstrated by the B-2.

If a commercial airline decides to make use of a BWB design, it would truly be revolutionary. Ticket prices may go down with the savings on jet fuel, more people could be accommodated, and the new design could create unique interior designs never seen before.

435379main_ED10-0056-28_full_full
                                             Image source: nasa.gov

Scott Beale is an aviation and aerospace professional with more than 20 years of leadership experience. For more reads on the aviation field, visit this blog.