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Fuel Savings Opportunities From Air Refueling
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT
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Fuel is a critical strategic asset for military aviation operations, yet is increasingly expensive. Air refueling offers both the opportunity to extend aircraft range and the potential to save fuel by enabling a transport aircraft to depart with less fuel in exchange for additional cargo. We evaluate the practicality of air refueling in terms of fuel savings versus distance and cargo quantity, by introducing two non-linear optimization models that examine the tradeoff between departure fuel weight and loaded cargo for given origin, destination, and tanker base positions and freight quantities to be moved. We use two numerical example scenarios to show that substantial fuel savings from air refueling are possible.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE