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Air to Air Refuelling


Air to Air Refuelling is one of the most demanding pilot handling tasks and one that is particularly challenging to simulate. The lack of fidelity of AAR refuelling simulation has meant that AAR “prodding” training transfer to the Simulator has been limited compared with other high workload pilot tasks. 


Live flying of AAR is expensive requiring by definition at least 2 flying aircraft and also hazardous due to the enforced close proximity. Damage to drogues, probes and expensive anti-radar paint on advanced Fighters is not unknown. This has caused problems with AAR currency of sufficient numbers of operational crews with resultant reduction in operational capability

Solution: the HSL Hose & Drogue Model

A high fidelity model that realistically simulates the behaviour of the hose and drogue in real time with a piloted aircraft especially in the challenging probe/drogue contact regime would considerably improve the training capability and provide enhanced training transfer and operational capability at reduced cost.


High fidelity non-real-time physics based models have long been used by AAR equipment manufacturers to predict performance and qualify equipment. As computing power has increased these complex models have been able to run in near real time but with inherent difficulties in adapting models not specifically design to run in real time on a Flight simulator especially in the critical contact phase


HSL have utilised their considerable in house experience of existing AAR manned pilot simulations together with bought-in experience of AAR equipment manufacturer simulation and modelling to conduct a self funded R&D to produce a high fidelity multi-body physics based hose and drogue model which is now being implemented with the launch customer

The HSL model has been developed using public domain data including the "Aerial Refueling Systems Advisory Group" (ARSAG) ICD and HSL are feeding back our findings from the first "use in anger" of the ARSAG ICD on a Full Flight Simulator

Full Mission Simulator AAR

The HSL Hose & Drogue Model has recently been installed on it's first Full Mission Simulator and even during initial integration received high praise from acceptance pilots for it's remarkably realistic behaviour

Capability Concept Demonstrator for AAR Desktop Trainer

HSL has developed a Desktop Capability Concept Demonstrator running the same HSL Hose and Drogue Model that runs on an FMS and we are in initial discussions with UK RAF to establish if and how this Desktop Device could be used to enhance training 

AAR Development Support

With the HSL led team on AAR we have expertise on AAR real world equipment and modelling as well as Pilot Training and can support you in any endeavour that requires high fidelity hose and drogue modelling e.g. developing an enhanced Pilot training solution for AAR, developing new AAR delivery methods such as Unmanned or Light Aircraft tankers. Why not contact us and see how we can help?