18 Nov 2009
At least two of the aircraft being delivered to Omega are modified for hose and drogue air-to-air refuelling with wing-mounted Cobham pods. (photo : DefenceGovAu)
Omega Acquires Aussie B707s
Aviation specialist writer John Adlard reports that US-based Omega Aerial Refuelling Services expects to take delivery of three Boeing 707-300s from the Australian government by the end of 2009.
The aircraft have been stored at RAAF Richmond for about 18 months since the last was retired.
At least two of the aircraft are modified for hose and drogue air-to-air refuelling with wing-mounted Cobham pods.
The aircraft are now readied for FAA certification and for their delivery flights by Omega staff.
On arrival in the US, engines are to be hushkitted and the aircraft will undergo thorough inspection, maintenance and service as required under the FAA's "Old Aircraft" regulations.
Omega is keen to have the aircraft ready for line operation in its business within six months.
The Australian aircraft will join Omega's existing fleet of a KDC-10 tanker and two K-707 tankers which are now in constant use worldwide on contract air tanking work both for international ferry flights and for training of pilots.
Omega tankers are finding calls for their services escalating.
Under Foreign Military Sales (FMS) regulations, the RAF has used Omega to ferry a Tornado squadron across the US for military exercises while it also supported Australian F/A 18 Hornets on their trans-Pacific flights to and from a Red Flag exercise in Alaska.