Aerial refueling, air refueling, in-flight refueling (IFR), air-to-air refueling (AAR), tanking, call it how or what you may. It is simply the process of transferring aviation fuel from one military aircraft (the tanker) to another (the receiver) during flight or midair. Nowadays, it is the operation that allows America to impose its will, anywhere, everywhere, anytime, everytime. It’s the protein for the muscle of America’s diplomacy.
Even though the first successful refueling operation was recorded in 1923, it started to be employed broadly shortly before World War II, on a very limited scale to extend the range of British civilian transatlantic flying boats. After World War II it began to be used on a large scale to extend the range of strategic bombers. Since the Vietnam War, aerial refueling has been extensively used in large-scale military operations for many different military aircraft operations. As one would imagine, in operations at such altitudes errors are prone to happen. Here we show you a small sample of those. Exasperating.
What do you think is the worst accident that could happen during operations like these? Sound off and share your opinions and comments in the section below.