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mid-air refuelling lights on tanker...


fitness88
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Can someone please explain exactly what the right & left group of lights underneath the tanker indicate and what is the light configuration of these lights supposed to be when taking on fuel. I've watched some videos but I'm not quite getting it.

Also what area under the tanker should I be maneuvering toward and what in-cockpit reference should I be using to guide me there?

 

Thank you.


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Can someone please explain exactly what the right & left group of lights underneath the tanker indicate and what is the light configuration of these lights supposed to be when taking on fuel. I've watched some videos but I'm not quite getting it.

Also what area under the tanker should I be maneuvering toward and what in-cockpit reference should I be using to guide me there?

 

Thank you.

 

One side is for you altitude and the other is for your position far or too near. Don't know which though. And if i'm not mistaking, the lights represent where you are and not where you have to go.

 

Maneuver a bit to the right of the boom and watch the lights, then it shouldn't be a problem.

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On the KC-135 the left row is directing your altitude. If the rear (or top, when you look up) lights show, you are too high and need to drop a little and vice versa. The right row directs your forward/aft position. If the rear/top light shows, you need to speed up and move forward.

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On the KC-135 the left row is directing your altitude. If the rear (or top, when you look up) lights show, you are too high and need to drop a little and vice versa. The right row directs your forward/aft position. If the rear/top light shows, you need to speed up and move forward.

 

 

 

 

 

Left row green light closest to me indicates too high, furthest from me indicates too low?

Right row green light closest to me indicates too far back, furthest from me indicates too far forward?

Correct?

 

 

Do the left row and right row lights have to be in the middle of the scale?

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What are the colors indicating on the fuel probe?

 

 

Thanks!

 

 

I think they indicate how far the hose is extended. I use it in main vision along with the peripheral vision on the tanker windows to know if I'm lagging or too fast closing to the bubble.

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The lights are arranged to help airplanes like B-52s where throttle (fore-aft) is right hand and yoke (up-down) is left hand. In fighters it seems backward.

 

I can't remember but I think lights are directive (forward light = come forward) before contact and indicative (forward light = you are forward) after contact. Obviously the lights in the real thing can be manually controlled to say anything they want.

 

Boom paint is helpful for extension. There is a green zone surrounded by a yellow surrounded by a red. Getting too extending is annoying. Getting too close is fatal.

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For approaching the tanker, I line the heading datum up with the right wing root, and the speed datum up with the tip of the boom; works well for me. Close smoothly and don't chase the boom when he lifts it; you should be at the correct horizontal position and altitude and will just need to move up and plug yourself in.

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For approaching the tanker, I line the heading datum up with the right wing root, and the speed datum up with the tip of the boom; works well for me. Close smoothly and don't chase the boom when he lifts it; you should be at the correct horizontal position and altitude and will just need to move up and plug yourself in.

 

 

 

Do you mean heading and speed marker [<]

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The lights are arranged to help airplanes like B-52s where throttle (fore-aft) is right hand and yoke (up-down) is left hand. In fighters it seems backward ... ...

 

yep - those lights are for the heavies --- everybody's thinking too hard about this - just fly formation on the tanker

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just fly formation on the tanker

 

....(pen ready over note pad)....yes, please continue about this "fly formation" :pilotfly:

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yep - those lights are for the heavies --- everybody's thinking too hard about this - just fly formation on the tanker

 

Wrong. Both heavies and fighters have to follow them to achieve the best position within the AR envelope.

 

Those lights are Pilot Director Lights (PDLs). They give a visual position indication during normal and restricted EMCON refueling. However, the boom operator can and will provide verbal corrections when the receiver does not follow the lights.

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Everything?

 

just like everything else in life

green = good

red = bad

 

Strawberries ?

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I wish

 

if you have green lights, you are on the spot, yellow is ok and red means you need to re-position.

 

The lights should be labeled like here in this picture: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/PdwIwQ1P4X8/maxresdefault.jpg

 

left side is up/down and right side is forward/aft.

 

..man, if that was the graphical quality of a tanker in DCS.. not to mention their AI :)

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Storm is correct.

 

The PDL are for all aircraft not just heavies.

 

Taking gas should be a combination of visual formation flying with monitoring the PDL lights. You should always be referencing the PDL however the more experience you get on the boom the less you need to look at them.

 

If you are starting out with AAR, always use the PDL!

 

I have 1000s of AAR sorties under my belt and I still look at them every 4-5 seconds or so.

 

F-15 pilots should be aiming to....

 

1. Line the aircraft up slightly Right of the Yellow Centre Line under the tanker.

2. Align the Left PDL first (altitude) while still in the pre-contact position, once this is the middle you are at the optimum height for the boom..... next,

3. Drive forwards slowly until the Right PDL is in the middle,

4. Now maintain both PDLs in the middle position until contact and fuel transfer is made ;)

 

 

Here is a nice little commentary video from a Nasa Eagle pilot as he is plugging in.

 


Edited by [Maverick]

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