Every day around the world, military aircraft are involved in a
minor technical miracle. Putting aside their usual
aversion to sharing airspace with another aircraft, strike
aircraft, fighters and even helicopters follow tanker aircraft
streaming hoses into their slipstream, plugging a specialised fuel
receiver probe onto the end of the hose and taking on tonnes of
fuel. In this way short range aircraft have crossed oceans,
damaged aircraft have made it home and long range aircraft have
performed feats of endurance that have become legend.
Cobham was the first company to manufacture and market a
practical system for refuelling airborne aircraft and is still the
world leader in the field, providing 95% of the probe and drogue
air-to-air refuelling systems in service.
Air-to-air refuelling is a complex feat of science, calling on
many disciplines from fluid dynamics to electrical and mechanical
engineering. The strategic value of air-to-air refuelling has
ensured Cobham personnel have a personal connection with world
events such as war in the Persian Gulf, the world's longest search
and rescue missions, life saving medical evacuations and the
protection of civilians all over the globe.