Aerial Refueling Tips, Tricks, & Information

Woah woah woah…you can refuel the KC10, with the KC10?

That’s it, I’m setting up a casual server event shortly, KC10 REFUELLING CHAIN!!!


Why cant we refuel the C-17?

Autopilot is for the people who are to lazy to not hand fly which for me when I get close to the tanker I switch off Autopilot for some hand flying experience and it also allows you to understand more of how the jet is handling

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Autopilot is a personal preference based on the pilots ability to hand fly.

I wouldn’t necessarily call people lazy for using it, because in all reality real life pilots use autopilot too.

Plus there are different instances of autopilot, one to maintain speed, one to maintain altitude, one to maintain heading and vertical speed, it’s helpful for beginner pilots to use speed and heading autopilot while refueling so they can remain consistant.


IMHO…while the new addition of autopilot to the fighter class in the latest global update to the sim is welcome as to long excursions …it does not negate the fact that aviating is still a fine balance between controlling your angle of attack and your throttle speed… which become your primary objectives as you learn to respect and adjust to the forces which allow the remarkable operation of an airfoil in accordance with Bernoulli’s Principle as applied to the properties of aviation …that said…in regard to air to air tanker refueling …l once had a fighter sim for the pc back in the late 80’s l believe …which faithfully duplicated the refueling scenario to the level where you had to actually not only match a predetermined distance from a KC-135 tanker…but actually touch the connection hose to a specific spot on the fighter where it would automatically attach to begin the refueling operation …and since your yaw and pitch had to be accurate to achieve this goal…it was truly a thrill to hand fly …either with a joystick or the keyboard …the latter of which l preferred since l was too lazy at times to reattach the joystick as l had needed to connect the other ports on the pc for many other applications …including X10 module management…but in essence l learned much more from hand flying in regard to maintaining stability in fighter-tanker related operations !!!


for reference purpose:

IFC thread with RNLAF AAR training track flightplans

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Irl does the tanker have a separate Tank and for for refueling, or does it feed directly from the main tank?

Does the Tanker have to be above MLW in order to transfer fuel?

Sorry where’s the speed and altitude for the a10 I can’t find it?

Hi, I thought this might be a good place to post some information I built of a static AR Track based on RL AR207 that anyone can use. It’s not perfect but I think it’s a good balance for gameplay vs RL procedures.

AAR Area: AR207 (KVAD - KRDU)

AAR Anchor Waypoint: AMG - RDU

Flight Level: FL220-280



Plane Altitude Speed (KIAS)
F22 20,000-28,000 310 kts
C/AC 130 12,000-22,000 210 kts
F14 20,000-28,000 300 kts
F16 20,000-28,000 300 kts
VC25 (Air Force One) 20,000-28,000 260 kts
KC10 20,000-28,000

Base Airport: KVAD

Tanker Callsign: URCLS XX

NOTAM: Here are some special notes for maximum benefits balancing RL vs Gameplay:

Refuel on track only. Please DO NOT attempt during en route to/from track, take off and final
Copy FPL
Track initial point/ entry at AMG
Meet tanker at BAXLY - ICMF
TANKER make turn for return leg at W77/RASKL
South Track IP is RASKL
Re-establish tanker refueling at SDZ
Return leg terminus left turn will be at RUGOC and re-establish North leg.
Receiver holding pattern, left turns at AMG to wait for Tanker
If no receiver TANKER will orbit BAXLY/ICMF/CIGOX/RUGOC and wait



This track can also be set up for a southern run but needs hold points off the track. With enough discipline of all involved you can have multiple tankers and receivers timed N/S, S/N and altitude stacked between altitudes listed above.

ATC at KAVD/KRDU/KPOB could be of great help if available.

This can be even more complicated due to no direct communication with Tanker and it only takes 1 not wanting to follow established procedures to mess it up.

Anyway, I hope others can put this


I don’t think so. It doesn’t actually take any fuel out of the tanker

It’s all within the same tank. All fuel is used for refueling and flying the actual aircraft.

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Thanks for the help! I really needed some more information on it. I have one question though, how do you request a refueler.

you can request it in here:

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When trying to catch the tanker a/c how do I find the speed at which it is travelling. What I normally do is check the tanker a/c’s speed by pressing on it aand it gives me a speed (which I believe to be ground speed) and set my ground speed to catch it up. However, when I get close I reduce my speed to just a little more than the tankers ground speed and reduce more as I get closer. But, I still tend to overshoot. What am I doing wrong?. For information, I usually fly the F14 and even with spoiler on I still overshoot. Any help would be gratefully received.

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Hi @Divingbertybsac,

congratulations! You found the major difficulty in joining another Aircraft!
The trick is to reduce speed early enough to something not more then 20knots above KIAS of the other aircraft without spoilers. This is an overspeed amount that you should manage to drop of with throttle cut and spoilers.
If you notice that you are to fast at a significant distance, you could flare to achieve a reduction in speed, but its difficult to keep correct attitude by this.
It although depends on the aircraft, for the F16 by example some quick turns are good for speed reduction as well.
The Speed of the other aircraft indicated in IF is Ground speed, that’s correct, but it might help to know the IAS of the other one beforehand. You could get it in the NOTAM in the refuellers tracking thread (link above).
There are some real world procedures you can find with google, but they are difficult to replicate in IF because the main coordination is done by plane to plane communication…

Try to finde out how much speed reduction the F14 has with Throttle cut and spoilers deployed at the same time, or how fare you go for a given speed delta. Those numbers are needed for each aircraft type.

So, keep practice!


Aerial refueling in this sim is a piece of cake…l once had a fighter sim for the pc back in the '80’s where you had to actually position yourself exactly in line with refueling hose so it touched a connection spot on the fighter and locked on …so all you have to do here is get within a sufficient proximity… much easier task !!!

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A video was just uploaded by the official IF-channel!


Just like the f18 it is in severe need of rework

Slight typo @DeerCrusher?

Great tutorial, very helpful!

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