In the future, instead of pilots, a self-driving drone would bring fuel to aircraft that need to be refueled in the air.
They will soon be able to refuel U.S. Air Force aircraft in a new way, thanks to Boeing’s latest development. The company is developing a drone codenamed MQ-25, which could be able to fuel aircraft in the air without human intervention.
Boeing specialists installed fuel-filled tanks under the wings of a prototype called the T1. Based on the first 2.5-hour test flight in days, the aerodynamics of the structure appear to be adequate and it was able to maneuver well in the air. Since the T1 is just a test drone for now, Boeing will still have to deal with it before the final version is ready. The current flight, on the other hand, takes them one step closer to that.
The U.S. Air Force will be able to line up more than 70 such drones, which could take over air refueling from F / A-18 Hornet aircraft. All of this can come in handy, as in addition to pilots not having to perform such a dangerous task, more F / A-18 Hornets can go into battle if needed. Incidentally, Boeing unveiled the MQ-25 for the first time in December 2017, which they say will rearrange the balance of power in the air.