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PICTURE: Airbus Military flies UK's second A330 tanker

Airbus Military has flown the second A330-200 to have been modified under the UK's Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) programme.

Equipped with Cobham 905E underwing hose and drogue refuelling pods, the aircraft made a 2h flight from Getafe near Madrid on 26 October. "The crew reported that the aircraft, its systems, and two Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines performed entirely satisfactorily," Airbus says.

The second of an eventual 14 tanker/transports to be provided under the FSTA private finance initiative deal with EADS UK-led AirTanker Services, the newly flown A330 will be delivered to the Royal Air Force's Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire in November 2011.

© Airbus Military

The aircraft follows a first example that was flown in modified form on 16 September from Getafe. The tanker completed an initial series of around five flights to test its avionics equipment and is now having its centreline fuselage refuelling unit installed, says Gabriel Garcia Mesuro, Airbus Military's head of flight operations.

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