Aerial refueling is mainly defined as the process of sending aviation fuel from one aircraft to another, when both are in their flight modes. The aircraft which transfers the fuel is called the tanker whereas the aircraft which gets the fuel is called the receiver. Flying boom and progue-and drogue are two main methodologies that are used to carry out the aerial refueling processes. The former process is substantially faster than the other, but needs the setup of a specific type of boom operator station.
Aerial refueling processes are highly important, especially for military aircrafts, wherein the extra fuel received can lead to aircrafts to remain airborne for a longer time. In this way, the range of the aircraft as well as its functioning capability can significantly increase. For military aircrafts, some of them could compensate with less fuel maintained while lifting off. This could be done in order to compensate the heavy weight of weapons, armor and other similar objects, by reducing the maximum takeoff weight.
The aerial refueling of an aircraft is conducted during scarcity of aviation fuel on the aircrafts during flight. This process is carried out by different procedures such as tanking, air-to-air fueling, and inflight refueling. The air refueling system is mainly done on the defense aircrafts and are being introduced in the commercial sector. The tanking system is employed heavily in both defense and commercial sectors.