To simultaneously refuel two or more receiver aircrafts, multiple wing pods are mounted to a tanker aircraft. Each wing pod contains a refuelling hose and a refuelling drone. The refuelling drone can be extended rearward such that the refuelling drone is towed behind the tanker aircraft by the refuelling hose.
The refuelling hose is of a relatively long length to allow for increased relative movement and spacing between the tanker aircraft and the receiver aircraft during refuelling. Additionally, the refuelling system can be retracted and stored internally in the tanker aircraft to minimize aerodynamic drag and increase stealth capability of the tanker aircraft.
Publication number: US 9227735
Patent Title: Aerial refueling system and method
Application number: US 13/860,533
Publication date: 05 Jan 2016
Filing date: 11 Apr 2013
Inventors: Joshua M. Kusnitz
Original Assignee: The Boeing Company