MRTT markings

Having flown on one today has again, aroused my curiosity towards the markings on the A330 MRTT. What im talking about is the black and yellow horizontal lines that are just under the windows towards the front of the aircraft (as seen in the pictures) not only that, theyre elsewhere over the aircraft (wingtips, tail etc). What is the purpose of the markings?



Guessing no one knows?

My best guess, like with why the doors are painted yellow on their frames, is for identification that something exists, but I have no idea. Anyone have the actual answer?

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These are luminescent strips, which give light when flying during the night. They’re called “formation lights” and they enhance the visibility of the airplane. It’s a common feature for military aircrafts.


What Jordy Said
Basically they are luminescent strips that enhance visibility of the plane at night and aid identification at night.


The civilian grade A330s operated by Air Tanker also have these markings

It’s for NVG night operations formation flying.

Where? I’m on about the horizontal markings

Is that in the Falklands?

In my observations of the raaf KC30 it only has the yellow and black markings similar to the taxiway markings on the belly of the plane

Ohhh, I see what you mean!

Yes it is. I used to live there :)

Nice. I was thinking about possibly going on holiday down there, Somewhere different.

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Is the only way to get there by RAF flights?

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@morgan99 @WoodyJS

Commercial Flights to the Falkland Islands

RAF opby Air Tanker Flights:

RR/RFR2230 BZZ-ASI-MPN - (Departs Sunday, Arrives Monday)

RR/RFR2231 MPN-ASI-BZZ - (Departs Tuesday, Arrives Wednesday)

RR/RFR2232 BZZ-ASI-MPN - (Departs Wednesday, Arrives Thursday)

RR/RFR2233 MPN-ASI-BZZ - (Departs Friday, Arrives Saturday)

At RAF Wideawake (ASI), Ascension Island

At RAF Mt Pleasant (MPN), Falkland Islands

LATAM Airlines Chile Flights:

Every Saturday (except 4th Saturday)

4th Saturday of every month

Only other (commercial) external flights are by Aerocardal as Air Ambulance flights to Argentina, Chile, Uruguay etc.


The luminescent strips are for nighttime and low-light formation flying. The user, yellow lines are for normal ops and the lower, black lines are Infra-Red, for NVG flying. These formation lights are placed at various points around the aircraft. The centreline strip under the aircraft is a visual formation reference (that doesn’t light up) for boom or FRU receiver aircraft.

You can read more about the A330 MRTT / Voyager / KC-30A lights and marking in the National Standards Related Documents for AAR, hosted on the JAPCC website here: JAPCC


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