Saturday, April 14, 2012

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330 / KC-30A MRTT Lands at Rockhampton Airport

Local spotters had absolutely no idea that a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft actually touched down on Thursday 12 April.

Usually, these aircraft simply perform either missed approaches or the occasional touch-and-go, so to have one finally land and park at Rockhampton Airport would have been something to behold.

The KC-30A MRTT landed at the airport as a part of its ongoing type certification and training flight program. The Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Brad Carter said that he was pleased that the Rockhampton Airport could play a role in the training and commissioning of this new aircraft type.

The aircraft - believed to carry the serial number A39-004 - is one of five KC-30A MRTT aircraft that have been modified for the RAAF for air-to-air refueling and personnel transport.  The aircraft was reportedly using the callsign "Dragon 13".

The aircraft is 58.8 metres in length and 17.4 metres in height and has a wingspan of 60.3 metres.  It is capable of carrying 270 passengers and under-floor cargo compartments will be able to accommodate 34,000kgs of military and civilian cargo pallets and containers.

It is possible that over the coming months, Rockhampton could see more military type traffic landing at the airport with reports of an RAAF or Australian Army exercise happening in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area.  We certainly hope so!

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