Combat Approved

The Refueller: Docking Masters. Threading a needle in the sky

The range of all aircraft is limited by how much fuel they can carry, but luckily some can take advantage of a filling station in the sky to extend flying time and avoid the need to land. Combat Approved hitches a ride to see the process first hand, along with Russia's airborne tankers and the military planes that rely on them.

A T-50 fighter, also known as PAK FA, carefully approaches a tanker to refuel and our crew boards the 210-tonne Il-78, airborne gas tanker. Aviators and engineers reveal the refuelling boom and explain just how dangerous the process can be.

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