This is available in a much easier to read, and better formatted PDF at this link: http://dl.dropbox.co...0420527/AAR.pdf
I highly recommend the PDF!
Air-to-Air refueling (AKA Aerial Refueling, In-Air Refueling, etc) in BMS is a complex procedure, but it boils down to a few simple steps:
- Find the tanker
- Tell the tanker you need gas
- Fly up behind the tanker, then stop moving to prove you won't crash into his fat ass and kill everyone aboard.
- Get cleared and move into position to refuel
- Maintain that position for 1-2 minutes to fully refuel
- Once you're full, tell the tanker you don't need more gas and fly into the wild blue to destroy your enemies
If you can do that, you can refuel in BMS. However, this document will offer you detailed guidance on actually conducting an Air-to-Air refueling in BMS.
Before we start in earnest, the #1 tip you can remember – small inputs!
If you're going to move your throttle, stick or pedals once you are anywhere near the tanker, be gentle. If you feel yourself getting tense, drop back 100 feet, release the death-grip you have on your stick, and shake out the tension for a second. This requires precision flying skills that we in UO do not have much practice in - it's tough, but not impossible. Just focus, and keep your inputs small - I actually unwrap my fingers from my stick and use only small pushes with the web of my hand, base of my thumb and forefinger to get into position. Whatever works for you!
Observer Position - A position to the left and slightly behind the tanker wing with a minimum of one receiver wingspan clearance between tanker and receiver. Multiple receivers join in echelon left.
Pre-Contact Position - The position is approximately 2 feet below the tip of the boom and 10-50 feet back from the boom tip, centered in azimuth on the tanker, where the receiver stabilizes with zero rate of closure before being cleared to the contact position.
Contact Position – The position directly underneath the tanker where the receiver stabilizes with zero rate of closure to allow the boom operator to place the end of the boom into the receiver's fuel receptacle.
Reform Position - A position to the right and slightly behind the tanker wing with a minimum of one receiver wingspan clearance between tanker and receiver. Multiple receivers reform in echelon right.
Air to Air Refueling (AAR) Steps
- Once you are within ~10 NM, call tanker – default is Y, followed by 1 to send “Request Fueling.”
- Once you are within 1 NM, you now must move your Air Refuel switch to the “Open” position. It is in the left-middle panel (reference Images 2A and 2B – proper position is up as indicated in 2B). This will display a blue “RDY” light on the right indexer, which is the tower to the right of HUD (reference Image 2C).
- At this point, you must work on controlling your overtake speed – a conservative rule of thumb is 10 knots of closing speed for every 1000 feet of distance. Thus, at 1 NM, you would be closing at 60 knots (to find out your closing speed, go into AA mode and lock up the tanker. In general, the tanker will stabilize at ~300 knots for an F-16. In reality, I find that I have ~305 knots indicated). I personally (and the AI will) maintain 100 knots of over take at 1 NM, reduce to 70 knots at 3000 ft, and reduce further to 25 knots by 500 feet behind the tanker.
- Pre-Contact/Observation Position
- As the flight lead, you can proceed immediately to pre-contact position (reference Image 4A). This is a challenging maneuver because the engines of the tanker create significant jet-wash that will knock you about. There are two methods of dealing with the jet-wash – push through it with significant overtake (~25 knots), or fly approximately 50 feet below the tanker until you are near the boom, at which point you can gently nose up into position. You MUST stabilize in the pre-contact position, or you will not be cleared to move to contact, and will be unable to receive fuel.
- If you're not flight lead, get into an echelon left formation on the tanker's left wing in the observer position, and wait for everyone in front of you to cycle through the refueling area (reference Images 4B and 4C). Your job is to deconflict/avoid crashing into your flight members, and to stay close enough to the tanker to get into position when it is your turn.
- Once you are cleared to contact position, push your throttle forward to gain 3-5 knots of overtake. At the front of the tanker are director lights that tell you which way to move your aircraft – F is forward, A is aft, U is up, D is down (reference Images 5A and 5B). Remember – do what they tell you! Before you hook up, these lights signal only coarse adjustment, so they will only illuminate if you are outside or very near the edge of the boom maneuver envelope. Once no lights are illuminated, stabilize and wait for the boom.
- As the boom starts moving and hooks up, there is an unrealistic “tractor beam” effect, which helps stabilize your aircraft under the boom and tanker (to a limited extent – this doesn't mean start playing with the stick or stop paying attention!). This effect continues (realistically) once the boom is physically attached to your plane, and ceases at disconnect.
- Once you are hooked up, “AR/NWS” will illuminate in green on the right indexer. Simply maintain your position under the tanker until your tanks are full. If the director lights are displaying anything other than horizontal lines, you may want to carefully adjust your position in the indicated direction, but unless you see red indicators it is not required. (Image 7 shows a perfect position with fuel flowing).
- If you fail to maintain your position, the boom operator will manually disconnect to avoid damaging the boom. You will then need to regain contact position (director lights will guide you again).
- Once your tanks are full, the tanker will automatically disconnect the boom, indicated by an illuminated red “DISC” on the right indexer (reference Image 9). Gently reduce your speed by a few knots, and roll your aircraft slightly right to get into echelon left formation on the tanker, in the Reform Area (reference Image 4B).
- Once you are stabilized in the Reform position or flying away from the tanker, close your Air Refuel switch (down position).
Racetrack pattern speed and altitude, as well as refueling speed, are set by individually per aircraft. Individual limits can be found in “Falcon BMS 4.32\Data\Sim\ACDATA” under the aircraft designation.
For instance, the following are for the F16C Block 40 (named “F16bk40.dat” in the above folder).
Example Refueling Altitudes and Speeds:
- F-16 (all variants) – Angels 22, 300 knots
- Tornado ADV – Angels 20, 285 knots
- Tornado (all other variants) – Angels 20, 320 knots
- A-10 – Angels 17.5, 240 knots
- F-15E w/ PW229 – Angels 22.5, 325 knots
- F-15E w/ PW220 – Angels 22.5, 310 knots
*NOTE* - If any aircraft in a flight requests fuel (Y followed by 1) from a tanker, it will cause the tanker to go into its racetrack (unless it is already in its racetrack) and stabilize to the proper altitude and airspeed for your aircraft. In addition, this action adds ALL the members of that flight to the tanker's queue, in order (i.e. 1'1 first,1'2 second,1'3 third,1'4 fourth). If the command is re-initiated after the flight is partially refueled (i.e. 1'1 and 1'2 have refueled, 1'3 is currently refueling), it will add the members who have completed back into the queue (i.e. 1'3 in contact, 1'4 second, 1'1 third, 1'2 fourth).
AIR-TO-AIR REFUELLING - ATP-56( (AJP 18.104.22.168) – found in “Falcon BMS 4.32\Docs\Operational Manuals” pp 64-5
BMS Manual – found in “Falcon BMS 4.32\Docs\Falcon BMS Manuals” pp 130-42
SuperPak 3 Manual – found in “Falcon BMS 4.32\Docs\Falcon 4 Legacy Manuals\3 - SuperPak 3” p 147
Falcon Original Manual – found in “Falcon BMS 4.32\Docs\Falcon 4 Legacy Manuals\1 - Falcon 4.0 Original Manual” pp 180-5