Airbus tanker loses refueling boom on test flight

Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer

The refueling boom on an Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport fell off during a test flight of the aircraft Monday.

The tanker was being flown over Spain as part of a test flight before delivery next month to United Arab Emirates.

No one was injured when the A330-based tanker lost its boom, which has been located on the ground, according to this Aviation Week report.

Australia is the only country that currently operates the A330 tanker and has been advised not to use the boom while Airbus investigates the incident.

In January 2011, another Airbus A330 tanker lost its refueling boom. That incident took place just as Airbus’ parent company EADS prepared its final bid for the U.S. Air Force tanker contest. Although EADS was thought to be the favorite for the contract to replace 179 KC-135 tankers, Boeing was awarded the $35 billion deal. Boeing’s tanker is based on the Everett-built 767 jet.

EADS had said if it won the U.S. tanker contest, the company would assemble tankers in Mobile, Ala. Earlier this year, Airbus announced plans to build A320 aircraft in Mobile.