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    • Year
    • Length
      37 m
      56 m
    • Height
      12 m
      19 m
    • Width
      1 m
      8 m
    • Diameter
      3 m
      9 m
    • Wing area
      1 m2
      925 m2
    • Wingspan (Beam)
      35 m
      53 m
    • Wing loading
      3 kg/m2
      829 kg/m2
    • Swept
      4 m
      10 m
    • Sweep
      25 deg
      68 deg
    • Aspect ratio
    • Disc area
      1 m2
      460 m2
    • Main rotor diameter
      1 m
      62 m
    • Rotor number
      1 qt
      8 qt
    • Blades per rotor
      4 qt
      5 qt
    • Disc loading
      17 kg/m2
      73 kg/m2
    • Tail rotor diameter
      0 m
      5 m
    • Empty weight
      8 kg
      276800 kg
    • Max. takeoff weight (Gross weight)
      154 kg
      575000 kg
    • Loaded weight
      125600 kg
      188400 kg
    • Crew
      1 per.
      112 per.
    • Useful load
      26 kg
      90700 kg
    • Payload
      23 kg
      122470 kg
    • Capacity passengers
      155 per.
      233 per.
    • Hardpoints
      1 qt
      2576 qt
    • Ground Speed
      96 km/h
      1500 km/h
    • Max. Speed
      822 km/h
      1234 km/h
    • Сruise Speed
      52 km/h
      3087 km/h
    • Stall Speed
      40 km/h
      258 km/h
    • Landing Speed
      68 km/h
      270 km/h
    • Minimum control speed
      24 km/h
      113 km/h
    • Never exceed speed
      107 km/h
      1050 km/h
    • Fuel Capacity
      23 l
      320000 l
    • Fuel External
      142 l
      10025 l
    • Power/mass
      0 hp/kg
      23 hp/kg
    • Thrust/weight
      0 kN/kg
      3 kN/kg
    • Afterburning thrust
      29 kN/kg
      980 kN/kg
    • Total Power
      0 hp
      60000 hp
    • Thrust
      352 kN
      528 kN
    • Service ceiling
      10000 m
      15000 m
    • Static ceiling
      3 m
      5485 m
    • Range (Ferry range)
      7680 km
      11520 km
    • Range PTB (Ferry range)
      720 km
      10000 km
    • Сombat radius
      277 km
      7210 km
    • Endurance
      0 h
      150 h
    • Takeoff roll
      20 m
      3200 m
    • Landing roll
      20 m
      2570 m
    • Maximum glide ratio
    • Load factor from
      2 G
      9 G
    • Rate of climb
      1 m/min
      36000 m/min
    • Rate of sink
      36 m/min
      56 m/min
    • Time to altitude
      0 min
      105 min
    • Propellers
      1 qt
      8 qt
    • Prop diameter
      1 m
      6 m
    • Prop blade number
      1 qt
      8 qt
    • Guns
      1 qt
      18 qt
    • Bombs
      1 qt
      250 qt
    • Missiles
      1 qt
      24 qt
    • Rockets
      1 qt
      76 qt
    • Torpedoes
      1 qt
      4 qt
    • Bombs weight
      2 kg
      39000 kg
    • Rockets weight
      1 kg
      48 kg
    • Number built
      4 qt
      6 qt
    • Price
      41 USD
      750000000 USD

Airbus CC-150 Polaris


Airbus Group



High wing

Length (m)
Height (m)
Wingspan (Beam) (m)
Loaded weight (kg)
Capacity passengers (per.)
Max. Speed (km/h)
Thrust (kN)
2 powerplants 220 kN each
Service ceiling (m)
Range (Ferry range) (km)
Number built (qt)
For years, air refueling had been remained the property of the west, the technology was preserved in the United States sometimes letting Britain construct such aircraft for their own needs only, but ensuring that only the Royal Air Force would use these aircraft and in no case would they be exported. The manufacturers Boeing, Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas therefore shared this small but lucrative market until the late 90s. That time the threat came not from Russia as might have feared the Americans, but from Europe, where civil aircraft manufacturer Airbus had presented a real troublemaker for Boeing, which was presented by its iconic jet: the A310 MRTT.

Since the mid 90 Airbus had engaged in an ambitious program of airliners transformation into air refueling tanker. The collapse of the Soviet empire and the proliferation of regional conflicts, also the need for increased operating range of traditional hunters and aging of conventional refueling aircraft of the type Boeing KC-135 or KC-130 Lockheed allowed Airbus to analyze a new hot market. In addition, the flight safety had been strengthened for the jets, and it was necessary to have more wide-body aircraft or long-range four-engine like Stratotanker. Thus the European consortium considered a credible device for that type of mission. There were two aircraft before him: the A300 or its little brother the A310. The latter was of course the one chosen for an economically very simple reason: it was already in service in several air forces. The A310 was, however, not a plane of last generation, since it first flew in April 1982.

In November 1994, the Air Force had acquired a set of three second-hand long-range A310-300 which it put into service to replace its old McDonnell Douglas DC-8 for transport missions at long range of action. One of the French A310 was then transformed for VIP transport missions, it retired with the arrival of two single-aisle jets A319CJ and the present A330. Being in service with Transport Squadron 3/60 "Esterel", these aircraft were almost constantly based on the Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle international airport. Their range allows the Air Force to carry out flights and transport links between the French capital and the majority of air bases overseas. They also conducted flights to destination of overseas theaters in Afghanistan, Cote d'Ivoire or Mali.

A few months after the French A310-300, the similar aircraft appeared in Canadian skies. The Canadian air force had acquired five A310-300 which were redesignated as CC-150 Polaris. It was assigned to strategic transport missions replacing four-engine CC-137 Huskies, second name of which is in fact Boeing 707. Polaris accomplished missions across the whole Canada, but also in US destinations or Europe. In December 2005, two Polaris took part in the humanitarian operation in Sri Lanka after the devastating tsunami that struck the region. Currently it’s operating in the 437 Squadron, there is a talk that the CC-150 will give way to Boeing CC-177 for strategic transport missions, and will become only air tanker.

In 1997, the Luftwaffe also decided to acquire second-hand Airbus jets, but it took only six, also from the A310-300 series. It also assigned them to strategic transport missions, transporting VIP persons, and support humanitarian operations. These aircraft were from Lufthansa and its charter branch Condor. In 2001, the Luftwaffe purchased seven of A310-300 from Swissair which were sent directly to EADS for its transformation into air refueling tanker.

This German A310-300 served as a prototype to the brand new A310MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker Transport) specifically designed as modular air refueling tanker. The A310MRTT were able to serve not only as a "flying gas station" but also as cargo aircraft, and since January 2007 as platform for casualty evacuation. The main changes were two refueling booms under the wings connected to the balloons for connection of the aircraft with the refueling boom as Tornado IDS Luftwaffe or French Transall C-160, but also a central pole distribution capable of receiving a balloon or a boom for devices equipped with a receptacle like the F-16 or the B-2A stealth bomber. The A310 MRTT is therefore presented as a very versatile air tanker. The first aircraft of this series made its first flight in December 2003 and the first production aircraft entered service in Germany in 2005.

Currently three of the seven German A310 were transformed into A-310MRTT and two in CC-150 Polaris also. Now Thailand, Brazil, and Poland are thinking about the transformation of civilian A-310 into an air refueling tankers. The success of these aircraft is so big that Airbus has launched a similar program for its other big jet, the A330.

Note that two other A310s are in service of the Belgian Air Component for troop transport missions, accomplished before also by two similar planes of Spanish Air Force. Chile and Thailand both use an A-310-300 for high ranker’s transportation missions. Egypt, Mongolia, and Pakistan are also using the device as military transport aircraft. Italy and Japan, after hesitating for A310MRTT turned to its direct competitor Boeing KC-767 that also comes from old generation of jet airliners.

The future seems clearly turned to the military market of multipurpose transport and refueling jets for big Airbus Military. The A310MRTT was presented to the public at the Air and Space Show at Paris-Le Bourget in 2005 and 2007, it was delivered by Luftwaffe fully in beautiful gray with the exception of German cross painted it black.