Upgrades on the KC-135 tanker simulator soon will allow the pilots to simulate
dangerous conditions prohibited during live training because of the hazardous
nature of refueling maneuvers, said Air Force officials.
Without adequate training that would simulate refueling operations, the risk
of accidents during an actual refueling process increases exponentially, Paul
Minardi, program manager for the KC-135, told National Defense.
The 19 KC-135 simulators at bases across the country will be receiving accessory
hydraulic plumbing and actuators that allow the pilot to experience the motion
According to Minardi, the system must meet “C+ FAA ratings.” These
include both visual and motion systems to simulate the in-flight movement of
the KC-135. All the devices are expected to be integrated by 2004.
Before the hydraulic system was incorporated into the simulators, stall conditions
were not realistic, said Minardi. The pilot did not feel the effect of nose
drop and was in better condition to recover.
The KC-135 training system is designed to imitate all the separate functions
of the aircraft.