C-27J: Positive Tests for Flight-Refueling with the KC-767A Tanker
The C-27J is carrying out flight-refueling tests with the KC-767A tanker at the Italian Air Force Base in Pratica di Mare with the collaboration of the 14° Stormo of the Italian Air Force, Alenia Aermacchi, Rolls Royce and Dowty, the latter two responsible respectively for the engines and propellers of the aircraft.
After a series of ground test that did not present any complications, the flight test conducted had the C-27J perform a series of contacts with the KC-767 at various altitudes between 10.000 and 20.000 ft. and speeds up to and near 220 kts, including night flight-refueling with the aid of Night Vision Goggles; in turning pattern, in turbulence and during an emergency decent.
The preliminary results highlighted the exceptional flying quality of the C-27J, in both the day and night contacts. The test confirmed the high capability of fuel transfer (up to 2800 liters\min) predicted in the planning phase, allowing for a complete replenishment of the tanks in only 5 minutes. Also confirmed during these test was the superior quality of the C-27J as an aircraft receiver also in conditions of slipstream turbulence generated by the tanker.
An aircraft piloted by Alenia Aermacchi test pilots was used for these test, modified with the integration of a complex instrumentation dedicated to controlling the engine parameters, propellers, transfer of fuel and flight controls, in order to meet the requirements requested by the military certification.
The objective of these test was to achieve the certification of the flight-refueling system, that so far has been adopted on the 12 C-27Js in service in Italy and on one of the three units in service with the Lithuanian Air Force.
Alenia Aermacchi S.p.A.Company or Organisation Portrait:
Alenia Aermacchi is the global player which leads the Finmeccanica aeronautics business by continuously increasing its ability to design, build, integrate and support complex systems for both commercial and defense markets worldwide.
The Alenia Aermacchi military and commercial aircraft businesses are based in Turin and Naples, with training aircraft and systems based at Venegono. The product portfolio includes proprietary products like the M-346 is today the only aircraft designed to meet the training needs of pilots of 4th and 5th generation combat aircraft, and tje C-27J, the only true modern tactical airlifter available today worldwide.
Alenia Aermacchi has key roles in world-class programs like Eurofighter Typhoon, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Neuron European UCAV demonstrator. It also plays leading roles in commercial aircraft, designing and building advanced aerostructures for state of the art airliners including the Airbus A380, Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the latest Bombardier CSeries.
In an equal-share joint venture with EADS, it owns ATR, which dominates the regional turboprop market. With the Russian company Sukhoi it is developing and marketing the Superjet 100, the most advanced and environmentally friendly regional jet available on the market.
Its subsidiaries include Alenia North America and SuperJet International. Its other international joint ventures and consortia include Eurofighter and GMAS in the USA.
The company merges the businesses, products, sites and traditions of Alenia Aeronautica and Alenia Aermacchi. The name traces its lineage to 1913, when the original Nieuport-Macchi was founded.
Source: Turin, Italy, Alenia Aermacchi News - 06 July 2012
Photo: The Italian Air Force C27J Spartan Refuels from KC-767A Tanker (Photo by Alenia Aermacchi; issued July 5, 2012)