drones US successfully refuels drone in air

The United States has successfully refuelled an unmanned drone aircraft by flying a second drone close by, allowing for longer flights of the deadly tools of war.

The United States has successfully refuelled an unmanned drone aircraft by flying a second drone close by, allowing for longer flights of the deadly tools of war.

 
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) carried out a series of tests where two unmanned drones flew around 100 feet apart at an altitude of 48,000 feet for a roughly 2.5 hours, a proximity that allows one drone to refuel the other using a fuel probe.
 
The project, dubbed Autonomous High Altitude Refuelling, has been going on for the past two years, with the results surprising the researchers. A success rate of 17 percent was predicted, but the tests showed the rate was 60 percent, making the technology fairly reliable.
 
drones US successfully refuels drone in air
 
The drones are modified RQ-4 Global Hawks, normally used for surveillance, but there is nothing to stop the US air force from employing similar tactics with other aircraft. It might even help with disaster situations where a plane's fuel reserve has been damaged.
 
Previously in-air refuelling was only possible when a drone had a pilot, but DARPA's recent missions show that it is now possible to perform the delicate task unmanned, which will lower the cost of many military missions, since drones will no longer need to be built to carry out their mission on a single fuel allowance.
 
Source and Image Credit: BBC