Boeing’s MQ-25 first UAS to refuel another aircraft

Departments - Up and Soaring

Unmanned Kaman K-MAX Titan flies.

June 25, 2021

Boeing/Kevin Flynn

During a test flight June 4, 2021, the Boeing-owned MQ-25 T1 unmanned aerial system (UAS) demonstrated air-to-air refueling with a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft, the first time a UAS has refueled another aircraft.

The MQ-25 T1 successfully extended the hose and drogue from a Navy-issued aerial refueling pod and safely transferred jet fuel, demonstrating the MQ-25 Stingray’s ability to perform its primary aerial refueling mission.

The milestone comes after 25 T1 flights, testing both aircraft and simulations of aerial refueling using digital models. The MQ-25 T1 will continue flight testing prior to being shipped to Norfolk, Virginia, for deck handling trials aboard a U.S. Navy carrier later this year.

The Boeing-owned T1 test vehicle is a predecessor to the seven test aircraft Boeing is manufacturing under a 2018 contract award. The MQ-25 Stingray will assume the carrier-based tanker role currently performed by F/A-18s, allowing for better use of the combat strike fighters and extending the range of the carrier air wing.

Unmanned Kaman K-MAX Titan flies

Kaman Aerospace Corp.

Kaman Air Vehicles’ heavy lift unmanned helicopter for the commercial market, the K-MAX Titan, has made its first flight. The Titan system, which enables safety and operational efficiency by increasing future mission capabilities in varied locations and weather, will be available for existing and new production K-MAX helicopters.