KC-767 the Beginning of a Future Legend
The Boeing KC-767 is a military aerial refueling and strategic transport aircraft developed from the Boeing 767-200ER to replace the older version KC-135Es. In November 2007, Boeing decided to shift modification work on the KC-767A tankers for Italy and Japan from subcontractor Aeronavali’s facility in Italy to Boeing’s Wichita facility in an effort to meet the delivery schedules.
Boeing delivered the first KC-767 to Italy 2011
Italy received the first KC-767 on the 27th of January 2011, and in March 2011 operated its first mission into Libya to refuel Italian aircraft involved in Operation Unified Protector. Italy now owns four such refuelers that are creating waves around the world after the Italian Air Force Press office and a number of engineers took the opportunity to observe and take video shots of the entire refueling process while refueling in midair.
So how does the KC-767 refueling system work?
The aircraft comes with two different kinds of refueling mechanisms: One is a flying boom that has been modeled on the McDonnell Douglas KC-10 and the other is a three hose and drogue system. This double mechanism means that the aircraft can refuel other aircraft that have refueling probes and it can also refuel those with an on-board receptacle.
Refueling via a Remote station with a video display
And if the fueling system is not enough to impress anyone, anyone would definitely be amazed with the control mechanism of the Boeing KC-767. This aircraft is operated using a joystick! The operator can have complete control on the movements of the Boomer by video that is transmitted from a number of small cameras which are attached to various parts of the rear fuselage of the tank. The aircraft also comes equipped with a camera system that is capable of sending images in HD to vision goggles that are worn on the helmet of the Boomer so that there is a clear, high definition image right through the refueling process.
With all the advanced technology that is used in these aircraft, it is believed that this next generation tanker is all set to replace the US fleet of KC-135E.
The Italian Air Force was the first to be certified to refuel a US fighter jet. Italian Air Force boom operators use stereoscopic cameras, directional sensors and direct communication to navigate the KC-767 Tanker boom into the waiting F-35 fighter jet.