Aerial refueling

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Nov 29, 2005
Hello all.

I was reading about aerial refueling and it's history, and though this isn't the first time I've done so, it was just now that I started to think... what if aerial refueling had been done during World War 2? If so, what would have been the effects of it?

I've read that aerial refueling was first attempted at somewhere around 1911, but at that time it was extremely crude and involved nothing more than lowering cans of oil and fuel from the 'refueling' plane to the one being refueled, the pilot would then just pour the fuel into the tank. In 1923 the first real aerial refueling took place, and it was pretty simple, too. Just two planes flying in formation with a hose being lowered and the pilot on the receiving end would plug it into his fuel tank. A DH-4B biplane managed to stay flying for 37 hours using this method in 1923.

By 1929, the USAAC had done some good progress and by 1935, Fred and Al Key had managed to stay flying for over 27 days... they did it with a 'no-spill' system that made aerial much safer (it was very dangerous before that time).

Even the British had a shot at the whole thing and even had a company dedicted to the task.

So after all this, I do wonder... what would have happened of aerial refueling was decent enough for it to be used operationally during World War 2? I realize that this would have enabled some bombers to be able to carry larger payloads to further targets... on the other hand, given this, they would be made a top priority for enemy fighters.

And just as a little off-topic trivia fact, during the final months of World War 2, they had a few B-17s to be converted into airborne radar pickets, a sort of early AWACS. I also heard that some USN Avenger airplanes also had radar sets installed and basically operated as AWACS or something like that anyways... what if those were available earlier on? What do you think would have happened?
refueling in ww2 ... i think that doesn't hapen. And refuling airplanes in ww2 we are talk about many many planes to refuel in air it will be need a enourmos number of refuel-airplanes (c47 may be adaptaded lol).

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