Dutch Giant KDC-10 For the First Time At Mošnov

14.09.2015, 13:01

Royal Netherlands Air Force will present its giant tanker aircraft in the Czech premiere. Only two aircraft of this kind are stationed in Europe and one of them is going to present itself at NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days. 

KDC-10 is designed as an air refuelling tanker in Royal Netherlands Air Force’s service while also being an aircraft capable to transport large amount of military cargo and great number of units to long distances. Therefore the tanker has become the Air Force’s backbone as well as significant contributor to Alliance’s missions.  

Autor: Ray Abela

„The KDC-10 presentation is a truly rarity that we have sought for many years regarding only two aircraft of this kind in Dutch Air Force and in whole Europe. This fact could crush the participation because one of the two aircraft had had technical problems that were luckily already solved. Thus we have just received a confirmation of attendance,” stressed Zbyněk Pavlačík from Jagello 2000. “Even though KDC-10 has been possible to see at Ruzyně airport many times, it has never presented itself to the Czech public,” added Jan Čadil, director in chief of Letectví + kosmonautika magazine.

KDC-10 is supposed to be seen alongside another tanker on its static display:  Swedish TP-84T. The visitors of NATO Days have already had an opportunity to see the American KC-135 and the French C-135FR tanker, therefore KDC-10 is fourth version of air refuelling aircraft in the row to be seen at Mošnov. However, out of the all mentioned aircraft, the Dutch one is the largest tanker with its 17 metres height and 55 metres weight by which overcomes KC-135 and even B-52 bomber.  

KDC-10 tankers were deployed by RNLAF during Enduring Freedom operation for refuelling Dutch, American and other Alliance’s airplanes. Nevertheless, the most common deployment stays with international humanitarian missions like earthquake in Haiti 2010, typhoon in Philippines 2013 or during Kosovo crisis for evacuation of refugees to the Netherlands. Both KDC-10 are currently stationed at 334th Squadron in Eindhoven.  

RNLAF purchased two DC-10 aircraft from civilian air flight company Martinair in 1992 and then remade them within three years to military transport aircraft and tanker at once. This tanker is also capable of flight with 112 tons of fuel simultaneously with 40-45 tons of cargo. The air refuelling is manageable due to the RARO system (Remote Aerial Refuelling Operator) which consists of five cameras altogether with 3D monitors; the refuelling boom is operated by joystick in the operator control station behind the cockpit. Approximately 1,750 litres of fuel is possible to overdraw from tanker to fighter within a minute.  

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