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Air-to-Air Refuelling Aircraft (Paperback)


By Chris Gibson
Imprint: Key Publishing
Series: Modern Military Aircraft
Pages: 96
Illustrations: Approx. 140
ISBN: 9781913870690
Published: 30th June 2022


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Modern strategists talk about ‘force multipliers’, and for air operations, air-to-air refuelling is without doubt the greatest force multiplier of all. In-flight refuelling has allowed not only the longest bombing missions in history but also persistence in air defence, reach in transport and flexibility in ground-attack tasks. Originally developed for transatlantic passenger flights, the ‘flying gas stations’ such as the Boeing KC-135 and Handley Page Victor became critical to USAF and RAF Cold War operations. From these Cold War beginnings, through the Vietnam War, to modern-day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, air-to-air refuellers have played an essential role in military operations. Illustrated with over 130 illustrations covering a range of refuellers, including the Boeing KC-97 and KC-135, Vickers Valiant, Handley Page Victor, Lockheed TriStar, Vickers VC10, McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender, Airbus MRTT Voyager and their Russian equivalents such as the IlyushinIl-78 ‘Midas’, this book details the history of air-to-air refuelling and celebrates the key role played by tanker aircraft in the application of air power around the world.

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About Chris Gibson

Educated at Auchinleck Academy in Ayrshire, Chris Gibson read Geology and Mineralogy at University of Aberdeen, graduating with Honours in 1984. Chris has worked in the oil exploration industry since 1985 and his work has taken him all over the world, with the added bonus of the occasional glimpse of unusual aircraft. In 1978, his interest in aircraft took Chris into the Royal Observer Corps where he represented his group, area and country in aircraft recognition competitions between 1980 and 1991. On the standing down of the ROC in 1991, Chris began researching historical aviation and has written several books on unbuilt projects, particularly guided weapons, transports and airborne early warning. Chris and his wife, Kirsten, live in the North East of England.

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