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VIDEO: This is what a F-22 Raptor pilot and boom operator say to each other while refueling mid-air

Audio Communications During F-22 Raptors Air Refueling Mission With KC-135 (AiirSource Military/YouTube)
October 28, 2016

The F-22 Raptor is one of the most advanced and lethal aircraft in this day and age. It’s a fifth-generation twin-engine, all-weather, stealth tactical fighter aircraft developed for the U.S. Air Force for the primary role of achieving and maintaining air superiority.

Put in simpler words, Lockheed Martin created the F-22 Raptor with the explicit purpose of shutting down anything and everything in its path. Once in the air, it’s a force to reckon with.

That air superiority means spending a significant amount of time in the air all around the world, and needing refueling to stay in the air.

(AiirSource Military/YouTube)

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In this video, F-22 Raptors from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska get a fill-up midair from a KC-135 Stratotanker from Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, with takeoff footage plus pilot and boom operator audio. Refueling planes have been in use since World War II, but extensively since the Vietnam WAr, to refuel combat aircraft on long-range missions.

The process is tedious to even get started with clearance before the two aircraft can even communicate with each other. They have a language all of their own. The intensity is evident even from takeoff.

Take a look in the video below:

When the time for refueling comes, the two aircraft must align perfectly without error. This is why the communication between both crews has to be clear. As the audio suggests, the altitude, which here is at 26,000 feet, is crucial so the lower plane can meet up with the other aircraft to join and begin the refueling process.

During the refueling, the two pilots engage in a little bit of small talk, asking each other about how their day is going. In just a matter of minutes, the aircraft is refueled and ready for its next mission. Another plane has to come in for more fuel, which helps alleviate the already heavy weight of the Stratotanker.

(AiirSource Military/YouTube)

While still traveling at 26,000 feet, the pilot tries to get the planes getting fuel out of the direct sun. In a few minutes of communication and navigation derived from extensive training, fueling is complete and the jets navigate away from their fuel station in the sky and return to their missions.

The KC-135 can hold up to 29,000 gallons of fuel and can refuel up to three planes at once, Military Today stated. There are some 400 Stratotankers in use by the U.S. Air Force, and another 180 used by the Air National Guard.