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Drone-drone refueling test

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posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 06:33 PM
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Pretty cool flying for 2.5 hrs at 48,000 feet mostly within 100 feet of each other!!

BBC article - not actually refueling - just demonstrating they could formate.

I now await some idiot to rant about how this is going to result in intercontinental drone attacks or spying through our windows or some other irrelevancy.....




posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 06:39 PM
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Lol, Gaul. Though I do find you informative, even on the subjects we disagree on, you really could use a buffing on your tact.

While the chances that drones will run intercontinental missions, and even less likely they will be doing this unchecked; it could easily be said that you are in fact the idiot for out right denying the possibility. Also your harshly presumptuous comment that all who don't believe what you believe are idiots.

Just sayin.


Yes it is cool, but every step forward exposes a path un-taken.
edit on 8-10-2012 by coven83 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 06:44 PM
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With the Global Hawk RQ-4A's range of over 15,000 nautical miles intercontinental missions are already a possibility.


Still, this is pretty awesome. I can imagine manned craft one day even being fueled by drone tankers. Now that would be something!



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 06:46 PM
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reply to post by coven83
 


I don't deny the possiblity - super long range drones were in service over 50 years ago without needing to be refueled, and were replaced because they were not worth the effort - missiles were harder to intercept and bombers were more versatile - a situation that still exists.

So while I might be able to usefully improve my tact, you might be able to usefully do a little research and stop making shirt up that I never said.

edit on 8-10-2012 by Aloysius the Gaul because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


While similar in concept, a cruise missile is not a drone. I also thought the Snark was shelved more for its inaccuracies and unreliable launching system, rather than being "not worth the effort." Armed forces around the globe still use cruise missiles to this day.



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 06:55 PM
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reply to post by cmdrkeenkid
 


The further development required to improve it was shelved as not worth the effort, and it only served actively for 3-4 years - much lesss than it could have even undeveloped.

And certainly cruise missiles and drones are have differences in capabilities, uses, etc, and both are in use today...and so what?



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 06:59 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


The point I was trying to illustrate was that you called the Snark a "super long range drone" when it is not a drone, but a cruise missile. That's all. I'm trying to avoid confusion in other readers and just offering a friendly correction.



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 02:43 AM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
With the Global Hawk RQ-4A's range of over 15,000 nautical miles intercontinental missions are already a possibility.


Still, this is pretty awesome. I can imagine manned craft one day even being fueled by drone tankers. Now that would be something!


Hell were already taking that step with the KC-46 and the vast array of cameras used to conduct the refueling. Booms around the world are pissed because of this. It's almost like why didn't Boeing listen to the boom operators instead of trying to do this virtual reality crap? I've been in contact with quite a few booms and most of them won't put in transfers for the new KC-46 because of that lack of instinct of being in the back provides. And we don't get cool pictures anymore....



But the real story is that they didn't use human life in this test. Just two drones. Why? Weve been refueling UAV's from KC-135's for years. Why not the Global Hawk besides the obvious altitude it was conducted at?



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by boomer135
 


Aside from the lack of cool pictures, I'm sure as the old boom operators move on and the new ones move in it won't be such a loss. The old guys are stuck in the old, tried and true methods, while the younger ones will be trained more for just these new booms and won't be set in any real pattern or skills. The technology is improving, and while young it may simplify things in the long run. Sometimes companies do smart things for stupid reasons, and sometimes it's stupid things for smart reasons. It'll probably be a few years before we finally really know how the new technology and training work out. But that's all for another topic, I suppose...

I didn't know we've been refueling UAVs for years. I'm guessing by your name here on the board you're a boom operator or at least an enthusiast for the KC-135? I thought the only drone we had in our inventory that was capable of aerial refueling was the X-47B. What other drones have that capability?

I only brought up the Global Hawk RQ-4A because Aloysius the Gaul mentioned the possibility of someone bringing up "intercontinental drone attacks." With its range of over 15,000 nmi it is a drone already capable of intercontinental missions, though it lacks the hardpoints and other necessities for any form of attack.



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 04:43 PM
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reply to post by cmdrkeenkid
 


I was a boom for six years. And yeah we messed around with a few of them. The RQ-170 is refuelable. The newly weaponized UCAV was testing out it's air refueling technology back in 2005-2006. However, they didn't have the receptacle or probe yet so it was all basically them coming up to pre-contact, about fifty feet from us and seeing how stable the aircraft was in the slip stream. It was pretty boring for a boom to do after the second or third time. There's a few other aircraft that aren't public yet, so I won't talk about them at this point.

I was actually stationed at Grand Forks but I volunteered to go to Edwards TDY every chance I got. I loved it there and almost got a guard job there when I got out. But I would say I went to Edwards to fly for 2 weeks about every six weeks, if we were actually home!



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by boomer135
 


That's pretty snazzy. Thank you for your service!


Where on the RQ-170 is the refueling port? I haven't seen too many images, much less many up close, but I never noticed anything that resembled a receptacle for a boom.

While I don't doubt that there are things you can't comment on, it's not polite to tease like that!



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by cmdrkeenkid
 


The RQ-170 has a rolling receptacle like the B-2. It pretty much shuts flush to maintain the stealth characteristics.

Here's a close up of the B-2's receptacle. It kind of rolls in and out to stay flush. Kinda the same thing.





posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 07:57 PM
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reply to post by boomer135
 


Wow! I had no idea that is had aerial refueling capabilities too. Thanks for teaching me something new! I was looking online for like an hour about it, but was not able to find anything of the sort. Since you have some first hand experience I'll take your word for it.



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by cmdrkeenkid
 


I posted a letter from the Edwards AFB Boom Superintendent in another forum. He talks about the refuelings with RPA's and everything. I know it's in the RATS section under ask a boom/locomotive engineer thread but I can't find it in the normal place I posted it.





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