Innovative Energy Absorbing Aerial Refueling (AR) Hose

Period of Performance: 09/28/2011 - 03/28/2012


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Stirling Dynamics Incorporated
4030 Lake Washington Blvd NE, Suite 205
Kirkland, WA 98033
Principal Investigator


Traveling sine waves can occur in an aerial refueling hose that result in excessive forces transferred to the receiving aircraft s refueling probe. These waves can arise from failures in the hose reeling mechanism, high aircraft approach speeds, or other inputs that create excessive hose slack. New concepts will be analyzed that significantly reduce or eliminate these waves, leading to a new innovative hose design that meets current standards, absorbs excess energy, but will not interfere with refueling or hose reeling operations. The new hose design will utilize embedded viscoelastic materials that increase damping. Varying the damping and stiffness along the hose length will also be considered, in addition to an axial damper installed near the drogue that will absorb the hose slack and will reduce the energy transferred into the hose. Phase I will utilize Stirling s existing hose dynamics software that will be modified to conduct parametric studies of these options. The software will be combined with a new reeling mechanism model to provide an integrated simulation. The proposed concepts will be examined under typical operational scenarios to demonstrate feasibility. One or two concepts will be down-selected for further investigation in Phase II.