Does This Mean UAVs Are Air Refuelable?

Pilots at the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, Calif., have tested autonomous aerial refueling maneuvers—using a C-12 as the tanker and Calspan’s variable stability Lear-25 as the receiving aircraft. Officials say both aircraft had “carrier-phase differential Global Positioning Systems that were designed for a master’s degree thesis by Capt. Chris Spinelli. Another master’s thesis, by Capt. Steve Ross, provided the control system used in the Learjet. Ross, who is also the chief test pilot and project manager, says the controller held the receiver on average within 1.3 feet of its desired position, well inside the refueling boom range. Ross believes this is a first and certainly represents “a major aviation milestone.”