Re: Air Force Aerial Refueling Methods: Flying Boom versus Hose-and-Drogue

Dave Kearton wrote:

Guy Alcala wrote:

I've been wondering -- although it would undoubtedly
eliminate much of the cost and simplicity advantage of probe
and drogue over boom and receptacle, does anyone here think
it would it be technically possible, given modern
miniaturization, to develop a drogue with active
stabilization? After all, KC-10 booms have been FBW for 25
years or so, so given miniaturized controls and inertial
elements, could a drogue be space-stabilized so it didn't
bounce around as much in turbulence? Could you even use
fiber-optics and guide the drogue manually (in multi-place
tankers)? Would such a capability be useful, or is it just
easier to let it move around and have the a/c chase it?
Alternatively, would it be better to have the drogue seek
the probe, in somewhat similar fashion to the way a radar or
IR seeker attempts to null out error messages? Just
thinking out loud in the wee hours.


surround the basket with hair ?

But seriously folks IR LED on the probe with a receiver on the
basket - should do the trick - with appropriate software & control surfaces,
of course.

So, do any of our local experts who've BTDT think any of this would be
worthwhile, or are they satisfied with the current capability?