GE Aviation implements in-flight refuelling probes on Airbus A400M
As the Royal Air Force receives its first Airbus A400M Atlas at RAF Brize Norton, full-scale production of the refuelling probe for the A400M is now well underway at GE Aviation, Hamble, providing key mission capabilities for this newgeneration multi-role military transport.
The six-metre-long probe is installed on the A400M’s upper fuselage above its cockpit, allowing the airlifter to be refuelled in flight. Such refuelling capability significantly extends the military transport’s operational range, while also enabling it to take on fuel for the subsequent transfer to other aircraft when serving as an aerial tanker itself.
GE Aviation, Hamble is responsible for the metallic refuelling probe’s design, manufacture and qualification. As part of the production package, the company also designed, builds and supplies the carbon composite fairings that ensure smooth airflow at the probe’s interface with the aircraft’s fuselage.
GE Aviation will be building A400M refuelling probes and fairings at the rate of 24 per year, delivering them to the aircraft’s final assembly line in Seville, Spain.