Air-to-Air Refuelling Aircraft (Paperback)
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.