The C-27J is carrying out flight-refueling tests with the KC-767A tanker at the Italian Air Force Base in Pratica di Mare with the collaboration of the 14° Stormo of the Italian Air Force, Alenia Aermacchi, Rolls Royce and Dowty, the latter two responsible respectively for the engines and propellers of the aircraft.
After a series of ground test that did not present any complications, the flight test conducted had the C-27J perform a series of contacts with the KC-767 at various altitudes between 10.000 and 20.000 ft. and speeds up to and near 220 kts, including night flight-refueling with the aid of Night Vision Goggles; in turning pattern, in turbulence and during an emergency decent.
The preliminary results highlighted the exceptional flying quality of the C-27J, in both the day and night contacts. The test confirmed the high capability of fuel transfer (up to 2800 liters\min) predicted in the planning phase, allowing for a complete replenishment of the tanks in only 5 minutes. Also confirmed during these test was the superior quality of the C-27J as an aircraft receiver also in conditions of slipstream turbulence generated by the tanker.
An aircraft piloted by Alenia Aermacchi test pilots was used for these test, modified with the integration of a complex instrumentation dedicated to controlling the engine parameters, propellers, transfer of fuel and flight controls, in order to meet the requirements requested by the military certification.
The objective of these test was to achieve the certification of the flight-refueling system, that so far has been adopted on the 12 C-27Js in service in Italy and on one of the three units in service with the Lithuanian Air Force.