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Smiths Aerospace Delivers 767 Tanker Aerial Refueling Equipment.

FARNBOROUGH, U.K. -- Smiths Aerospace recently delivered aerial refueling systems to Boeing for use on the KC-767 Global Tanker Transport Aircraft during aerial refueling flight testing. Smiths is a key partner on the KC-767 Tanker, providing the Centerline Hose Drum Unit and Wing Aerial Refueling Pod hose and drogue refueling systems, in addition to a number of other electronic and actuation systems.

The aerial refueling equipment delivered to Boeing provides a significant increase in operational flexibility over current aerial tanker capabilities and allows for simultaneous refueling of more than one receiver aircraft.

"This delivery is a significant step forward in the success of the KC-767 tanker program," said Dr. John Ferrie, President, Smiths Aerospace. "Progress continues in all aspects of the program where additional hardware and software deliveries are taking place."

The wing aerial refueling pods and hose drum unit were shipped from Smiths' facility in California and were delivered to Boeing in Wichita Kansas. Smiths has integrated systems from five different operating locations within the aerial refueling equipment. Boeing is installing the units in preparation for aerial fuel transfer flight tests. In addition, the KC-767 tanker flight management system and software common operating environment, also provided by Smiths, was recently released to final testing.

Smiths will provide the following systems for the KC-767:

--In-flight hose and drogue refueling system (including the centre line hose drum unit, wing aerial refueling pod with RAM Air Turbine, wing pylon and associated computing)

--Mission management system (including civil and military flight management, civil communication management, civil and military communication and navigation radio systems control)

--Electronic elevator feel computers

--High-lift actuation system

--Aerial refueling boom actuator control system

About the aerial refueling systems

The aerial refueling systems include the development and manufacture of the aerial refueling boom actuation control system. The actuation control system consists of a combination of electromechanical and hydraulic control actuators along with an advanced electronic control system. The system provides for the deployment, extension, retraction, in-flight control and recovery of the aerial refueling boom. The advanced control system provides increased boom control and responsiveness compared to existing boom refueling systems, while the built in actuator and control system redundancy increases safety and dispatch reliability.

The centerline hose drum unit and the wing aerial refueling pods on the KC-767A provide for three-point hose and drogue refueling of probe equipped receiver aircraft. A complete system solution inclusive of the aircraft structures and internal hose reel electrical, hydraulic, and fuel subsystems are integrated to provide highly reliable and easily maintained hose and drogue refueling systems. The advanced hose reel systems offer improved operational performance, particularly in the use of a microprocessor based electronic control system to increase the response rate of the hose system. The electronic control system reduces the number of hydraulic components by 40%, substantially increasing system reliability. The system is integrated within a fuselage mounted palletized pressure box to allow easy installation and removal and within the aerodynamic wing aerial refueling pod structure.

Mission control system

The mission control system is a derivative of Smiths' flight management system in service on Boeing 737 aircraft. Integrated with the civil flight management system is the unique flight guidance and navigation functionality for aerial refueling military missions as well as communications control and management. The mission control system also includes Smiths' Software Common Operating Environment, featuring a partitioned operating system that allows multiple applications to execute safely on the same avionics computer.

Electronic elevator feel computers

The electronic elevator feel computer (EEFC) monitors the aircraft's speed, altitude, and stabilizer position to calculate, and deliver, a hydraulic pressure to the aircraft's elevator feel system, ultimately supplying the tactile feel force in the pilots yoke. The EEFC utilizes state of the art remote electronics unit technology, mounted directly on to a hydraulic manifold. It replaces the previous 767 mechanical feel computer that required pitot tubes, which ran the length of the aircraft, and mechanical linkages. The new electronic feel computer does away with much of the previous mechanical system producing additional benefit in reduced maintenance and weight saving.

Boom actuation control system

The boom actuation control system controls the operation and movement of the air-refueling boom, a critical component of the tanker. This integrated system also contains the hardware and controlling software necessary for operation deployment. The design provides substantially enhanced system reliability, maintainability and serviceability.

Smiths Aerospace, a part of Smiths Group, is a leading transatlantic aerospace systems and equipment company, with more than $2 billion sales and 11,000 employees worldwide. The company holds key positions in the supply chains of all major military and civil aircraft and engine manufacturers and is a world-leader in digital, electrical power, mechanical systems, engine components and customer services. www.smiths-aerospace.com
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 19, 2006
Words:785
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