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The goal of this demonstration was to create the expectation that future HALE aircraft will be refueled in flight, said Jim McCormick, DARPA Program Manager.
gallons) of fuel will be transferred per minute via the boom to the aircraft being refueled in flight.
The test crew drove the vehicle at speeds reaching more than 50 mph and then rapidly refueled it in approximately 30 minutes using simple fuel hoses that can be optimized to make the process as simple as pumping gasoline.
The zinc/air fuel cell powered cart achieved the same ground speed as a lead-acid battery-operated cart; refueled in about ten minutes compared to lead-acid batteries' eight hours; and was able to cover 25 percent more distance than when powered with lead-acid batteries.
Using a prototype recycling unit, the zinc/air fuel cell was both emptied of its reaction product - zinc oxide - and refueled with fresh zinc "fuel" in about ten minutes.
Browns Ferry Unit 3 was shut down while employees refueled the reactor and performed maintenance and equipment upgrades.
In finishing the outage nearly two weeks ahead of schedule, workers refueled the reactor by changing one-third of the 241 fuel assemblies, performed thousands of tests, completed corrective and preventive maintenance on hundreds of components and inspected the unit's two steam generators.