Drone refuelled the aircraft

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Earlier this week, Boeing reported that it had managed to do something unprecedented with a drone and a Navy fighter jet in a test flight. It was the first time an unmanned aircraft had been able to refuel a fighter jet in the air so it could continue its journey without landing.

Although the manoeuvre itself has been known and used before, it was previously only performed between two aircraft piloted by human pilots. However, the ability of an unmanned drone to perform this manoeuvre significantly reduces the cost and risk of such operations in the air. This is a very dangerous manoeuvre, requiring the two aircraft to come within 6 metres of each other, despite the fact that they are both flying at hundreds of kilometres an hour.

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