U.K. Tanker Consortium Hopeful Of Achieving Refueling Clearances
By Anthony Osborne
Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
AirTanker is now operating three Voyagers, a pair of two-point tankers and a single, civilian-registered A330. The company received its Air Operating Certificate (AOC) from the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority on Dec. 13 and is applying for civil and military ETOPS certification. Additional paperwork is required to demonstrate that the extra military systems installed on the aircraft will not interfere with safe ETOPS operations. AirTanker will eventually operate 14 Voyagers, with nine of the aircraft fitted out for aerial refueling. The other five will be provided as an “optional additional capability.”
Voyagers will eventually replace the Vickers VC-10 and Lockheed Tristar, which currently provide air transport and air-to-air refueling capability for the RAF. The VC-10 is now expected to exit service in September 2013, while the Tristar will be retired in the summer of 2014.