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Boeing Conducts First MQ-25 Refueling of F-35C

The U.S. Navy and Boeing have used the MQ-25TM T1 test asset to refuel a U.S. Navy F-35C Lightning II fighter jet for the first time.This was the third refueling mission for the test asset in just over three months, advancing the test program for the Navy's first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft. T1 refueled an F/A-18 Super Hornet in June and an E-2D Hawkeye in August."Stingray's unmatched refueling capability is going to increase the Navy's power projection and provide operational flexibility to the Carrier Strike Group commanders," said Capt. Chad Reed, the Navy's Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager.During a test flight on September 13th, an F-35C test pilot from the Navy's Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Three conducted a successful wake survey behind T1 to ensure performance and stability before making contact with the aerial refueling drogue and receiving fuel."Thanks to this latest mission in our accelerated test program, we are confident the MQ-25 aircraft we are building right now will meet the Navy's primary requirement -- delivering fuel safely to the carrier air wing," said Dave Bujold, Boeing's MQ-25 program director.The T1 flight test program began in September 2019 with the aircraft's first flight. In the following two years, the test program completed more than 120 flight hours - gathering data on everything from aircraft performance to propulsion dynamics to structural loads and flutter testing for strength and stability.
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