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Why does tanker speed up during refuel?


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Posted (edited)

Tanker is keep speeding up during refuel every time.  Is it because he's getting lighter?  Shouldn't the pilot (or autopilot) compensate to maintain constant speed?

 

Beginning of refuel

refuelStart.png

 

Towards end of refuel

refuleEnd.png

 


Edited by Taz1004
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Posted (edited)

I don't think 3 knots makes a difference. Even on autopilot I don't think a C-130 at 15000ft can keep speed within 3 knots due to changes in wind and turbulence, not to mention the payload being removed by the chicks. 


Edited by Zeagle
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As I understand it:

 

Refueling aircraft (like all mission aircraft) have a responsibility to reach assigned navigation waypoints at the times designated-- as much as the mission allows.  Although implemented in the days before GPS, it still gives modern aircraft the ability to locate tankers should communication and navigation resources be disrupted in any way.  Consequently, it is up to the refueling aircraft to "show up and catch-up".

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The displayed speed is most likely ground speed. Speeds in the info bar and F10 map are labeled "TAS" but are actually GS, as you can see consistent fluctuations in the straights on race-track patterns with wind present. 321kts at 15,000ft equates to 258KCAS, which makes sense for a KC-135 (though a tad slow for a pointy nose and a tad fast for a Hog). 

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