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Self-Flying Tanker Plane for Refueling Fighter Jets Revealed by Boeing

Image: Self-Flying Tanker Plane for Refueling Fighter Jets Revealed by Boeing

Boeing's MQ-25 Stingray would be able to carry 15,000 pounds of fuel up to 500 miles. (Boeing)

By    |   Thursday, 21 Dec 2017 10:01 AM

A self-flying tanker plane used for refueling fighter jets in midair has been revealed by Boeing, Business Insider noted.

The design is part of a competition held by the U.S. Navy in search of self-flying aircrafts that can refuel fighter planes.

A request for proposals was put forth in October and Boeing responded with the MQ-25 Stingray, an entry which the goliath aircraft manufacturer hopes will give it leverage over Lockheed Martin and General Atomics to win the contract.

"Boeing has been delivering carrier aircraft to the Navy for almost 90 years," Don 'BD' Gaddis, who is leading Boeing's refueling system, said in a statement. "Our expertise gives us confidence in our approach. We will be ready for flight testing when the engineering and manufacturing development contract is awarded."

The MQ-25 Stringray has the capacity to deliver 15,000 pounds of fuel and could extend the flight range of fighter jets by 400 miles, GeekWire reported.

Boeing's entry is currently in the process of completing engine runs before it heads off to the flight ramp for "deck handling demonstrations" early next year, and the winning design is expected to be selected by September 2018, GeekWire noted.

The Aviationist noted that the U.S. Navy requires 72 tanker drones but will initially only purchase four examples of the winning design in order to establish whether the winning corporation can meet all stipulated requirements before entering into larger production agreements.

Securing the contract would be advantageous for Boeing, which recently lost to Airbus in a deal to supply Delta Air Lines with 100 narrow-body jets, CNBC reported.

© Mike Reagan

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Boeing revealed a self-flying tanker plane designed to refuel fighter jets in midair as part of a competition held by the U.S. Navy.
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Thursday, 21 Dec 2017 10:01 AM
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