T565 FRIEND | AIR TO AIR REFUELLER
Crew: 3 (2 pilots, one air refuelling engineer). Berths for additional crew for multiple shifts.
Passenger capacity single class: 550
Tail Height: 18.85m
Cabin Width: 6.10m
Fuselage Width: 6.35m
Maximum Fuel Capacity: 170,000 kg
Empty Weight: 170,000 kg
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 365,000 kg
Cruise Speed: 940 kph
Maximum Cruise Speed: 1005 kph
Maximum Speed: 1125 kph
Maximum Range: 21,500 km
Takeoff Length: 2750m
Service Ceiling: 16,000m
Engines: 2x Azzuri TR450
Thrust: 264,000 lbf total
The T565 is a twin engined, long range, air-to-air refuelling tanker based upon the popular M565 Airliner, produced, designed and sold by Los Rios Group, with alterations suited to New Hayesalian Air Force service alongside the KC-65 Dawnbringer air refueller. The T565 is a tanker which has been designed to carry as much fuel as possible, yet be relatively cheap to operate. In addition to this, the T565's modular cabin can be modified to accommodate a wide variety of differing cargo. This includes, but is not limited to, up to 500 passengers in standard seating, 200 passengers in mixed class and VIP seating, stretchers and medical personnel, commercial containers and military pallets. This gives the T565 versatility unmatched by almost all other tankers. Without carrying cargo, an extra ninety tonnes of fuel can be carried.
The airframe exterior is made entirely from metal alloy, in this case Aluminium Lithium alloy. Al-Li alloy is a very light yet very strong material which poses great breakthroughs for the aviation community. Because the T565 is posed as a tanker and a transport aircraft, it became obvious to designers early on that the less weight went into the airframe, the greater the payload could be which would further enhance the effectiveness of the T565. Rather than build the airframe out of conventional Magnesium Alloy which is commonly seen on modern airliners, Los Rios and Gemballa opted for a much lighter metal alloy for use on the M565 and T565 in the form of Aluminium-Lithium alloy, a very light yet very strong material well suited for use on aircraft.
Lithium is the least dense elemental metal, much less dense than alumiunium which is in itself less dense than most other metals, therefore when the two are alloyed together, the density and weight of the resulting material is less than that of the alloy while being stiffer at the same time and more resisitant to strain. Al-Li alloy was also used on the wings which are acted upon by not only horizontal but also vertical forces unlike the fuselage and thus need to have the compressive and tensile strength required to outlast these forces, as well as resist the immense shearing forces which are also experienced at high speeds.
At the rear of the fuselage mounted below the tail, the main refuelling boom is mounted. As the M565 is a twin engined aircraft, no suitable mounts for additional refuelling pods were available so Los Rios went back to the drawing board and redesigned the T565 with four engine mounts, two on each wing. In addition to carrying fuel pods, these mounts can also carry spare engines ranging from turbofans from small commercial airliners to larger turbofans which can be found on the T565 itself.
Thrust is provided by two Azzuri TR450 augmented high bypass turbofan engines, the very same used on the M565. The thrust rating of a single engine is approximately 132,000lbf and the engine itself only weighs 12,500 pounds with lightweight materials techology. The advanced direct fuel spray system, which sprays fuel into the section of the turbine which will create the most efficient combustion, and lightweight turbine technologies which give the TR450 a much higher power to weight ratio, allow the TR450 to use much less fuel than the similarly powerful engine on a rival commercial airliner. A TOGA (Take-Off, Go-Around) power function is also fitted, giving 120% thrust for 5 minutes with 10 minute rest periods in between.
The turbine itself and the compressor fan are made from a carbon-ceramic blend, which is enourmously strong and able to resist the extremely high temperatures inside the engine. Other parts of the engine are made from Aermet 100 which is a steel blend designed to cope with high temperatures and offer a high compressive and tensile strength. Exterior covering of the engine are made from Al-Li alloy, a very light weight metal.
Each engine is mounted below the wing and can be operated independently of each other.
The flightdeck of the M565 was conceived as being a fully glass cockpit, without using conventional instruments. Using four large displays infront of the pilots, as well as several other LED displays around it, pilots are consistently kept up to date with what is happening to the aircraft both inside and out. On a pilot's outside screen(the screen mounted closest to the side of the cockpit), Airspeed Indicator, Altimeter, Turn co-ordinator, Vertical Speed indicator and Artificial Horizon are all displayed. On the inside screen, the exact location of the plane and its waypoints and destination are displayed also, along with the planned route.
The T565 features a sophisticated digital fly-by-wire system. The computers "read" position and force inputs from the pilot's controls and aircraft sensors. They solve differential equations to determine the appropriate command signals that move the flight controls in order to carry out the intentions of the pilot.
The programming of the digital computers enable flight envelope protection. In this aircraft designers precisely tailor an aircraft's handling characteristics, to stay within the overall limits of what is possible given the aerodynamics and structure of the aircraft. For example, the computer in flight envelope protection mode can try to prevent the aircraft from being handled dangerously by preventing pilots from exceeding preset limits on the aircraft's flight-control envelope, such as those that prevent stalls and spins, and which limit airspeeds and g forces on the airplane. Software can also be included that stabilise the flight-control inputs in order to avoid pilot-induced oscillations.
Since the flight-control computers continuously "fly" the aircraft, pilot's workloads can be reduced to a minimum while in transit. Stalling, spinning and other undesirable performances are prevented automatically by the computers.
The T565 also features the Cervelo SDH-5 threat detection radar. This alerts pilots to when a radar lock is engaged, and also allows the pilots to track enemies with a very narrow radar wave, which can be as focused as precisely to 1° by 1° in azimuth and elevation, making the system extremely accurate and can increase the chance of a successful evasion. The SDH-5 can also communicate to other allied fighters in the area and alert them to the possible threat if the are not already, likewise the SDH-5 can receive this information. This is not featured on civilian versions of the aircraft.
Based on the regular M565, the T565 can seat up to 500 passengers in standard economy seating, or can carry 200 passengers in a mixed seating design including a VIP section. The modular interior of the T565 allows seating to be quickly added and removed, cargo restraints to be added or removed and medical facilities to be added or removed with suprising ease and speed. On the right side of the fuselage, there exists a 20 metre long section of the fuselage encompassing a quarter of the circumference of the fuselage that can be lifted up to allow cargo loading directly into the cabin.
The T565 has three refuelling stations, allowing it to refuel up to three separate aircraft at any one time. For aircraft with a receptacle, refuelling can be done only by the main refuelling boom. Located underneath the rear fuselage of the tanker aircraft, the boom mast is remotely controlled from an Air Refuelling Console in the flight deck, where an Air Refuelling Operator uses an advanced technology 2D/3D high definition/digital Enhanced Vision System. Adverse weather, day or night refuelling can be performed, thanks to its stereoscopic vision and laser based infrared lighting systems. This gives safer operation and a reduced workload for the Air Refuelling Operator, while enabling the tanker crew to be located together in the flight deck.
The boom is equipped with an all electrical, full fly-by-wire flight control system. It is provided with an automatic load alleviation system, and has autonomous disconnect for the receiver and the tanker, and has been designed under the dual redundant architecture (fail operational, fail safe). Secure communication is possible though the boom. The boom mast and equipment require on-condition maintenance only.
The boom design provides a geometrical envelope three times larger than that of the KC-135 facilitating safer contacts and refuelling operations. The fuel flow rate of the Boom is up to 1200 5000 L/min at 50 psig, making it the most capable new generation flight proven boom available today. This high rate of fuel transfer greatly reduces the refuelling operation time.
The under-wing air refuelling pod is based on the highly successful Cobham 900 series of refuelling systems, already qualified to refuel NATO and allied probe-equipped receivers such as the Eurofighter, F/A-18 Hornet or Sukhoi 30. The 900 series wing pods incorporate a digitally controlled, electrically operated hose drum unit and benefit from the heritage of the inventor of hose and drogue refuelling system.
This new pod also comes with the petal clamp mechansim, a new way to direct the probe into the pod. When fully opened, the nozzle of the probe makes a circle roughly a metre and a half wide. When a probe is nudged against this surface, the petal will collapse on the probe and direct to to the nozzle to fuelling can commence. This greatly inreases accuracy. The pods can transfer fuel at a rate of 2000L/minute
Mounted in the fuselage above the cockpit lies the T565's own refuelling receptacle, allowing the T565 to be refuelled in mid air. Barring ongoing maintenance and crew rest, this aircraft could potentially function for an unlimited time.