Last week, Airbus Defence and Space (DS) demonstrated the in-flight refueling tanker configuration of the C295 light utility transport aircraft.
In a video showcasing the refuelling flight, the C295W tanker refuelled a Spanish Air Force C295 using a hose-and-drogue refuelling system. Interestingly, the fuel deployment system was palletized and placed in the aircraft’s cargo area.
Notes & Comments:
Airbus DS announced its intention to configure the C295 (and CN235) with air-to-air refuelling capabilities in November 2015. The tanker C295 was unveiled during the 2016 Farnborough Air Show in July. Airbus DS marketed the configuration as a low-complexity solution, one that could be utilized to support slow-flying aircraft – such as helicopters – as well as forward vehicle deployments.
The CN235 and C295 are highly versatile platforms. While introduced as light utility transport aircraft, the CN235 and C295 have since been configured to take on multiple mission roles. In fact, alongside Airbus DS, a number of different vendors have positioned the CN235 and C295 for maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare, close air support and suppression fire, and even airborne early warning and control.
Widespread adoption in commercial and military markets as well as a distributed manufacturing and support network has made the CN235 and C295 into relatively affordable systems in terms of acquisition and after-sale maintenance and support.