Propeller blades dangerously close to the hose: MV-22 Osprey refuels from KC-130

There is no room for error when an MV-22B Osprey has to be refueled mid-air.

The following video shows Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft with VMM-262 refueling from a KC-130J belonging to the VMGR-152 during thir flight from Okinawa to Singapore, where the MV-22Bs attended the Singapore Airshow 2014.

Even if Helicopter Air-to-Air Refueling (HAAR) is usually difficult, considered how close those blades look in the video, no doubt it is even harder when the receiver is an Osprey, considered the size and position of the blades.

Obviously, the video doesn’t show anything really dangerous. The Osprey safely takes the fuel and there’s more clearance than it may appear between the hose and the blades. Still, things can really become pesky, in turbulent air, at low level and speed, etc. when large helos or tilt-rotors come close to the refueler.

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Actually I have to disagree:

    1. The speed of the V-22 is higher much closer to the speed of tanker
    2. There is no prop wash affecting the refueling hose
    3. The separation between the rearmost part of the hose and the propellers is high, so unless the V-22 suddenly becomes much faster it isn’t the problem unlike the case of helicopter were the hose is separated from the propeller by altitude for some length. The higher fluctuations are at pitch/altitude rather than the speed.

    In this video V-22 looks very stable platform in comparison to the helicopter refueling you had shown.

  2. “Actually I have to disagree”:….I agree! Have you seen refueling of Helis & how close the rotor disk on a CH53 get to the probe n drogue? Wait I belive you have posted those vids here. BTW…..ALL inflight refueling is DANGEROUSLY CLOSE!!! Just shows how GOOD our pilots are. It’s like driving down I-5 at 100 mph and the driver hands a jar of Grey Poupon to the passenger in the car next to him!! LOL

  3. “Propeller(sic) blades dangerously close to the hose: MV-22 Osprey refuels from KC-130”

    Dangerously close only to a neophyte like Cenciotti. By the way, the Osprey is equipped with proprotors not propellers. Proprotors are a hybrid design combining a propeller and a rotor. Also, the Osprey is a tiltrotor not a helicopter as evidenced by the fact that a pilot, once type rated in the V-22, receives a powered lift rating on their license not a helicopter rating.

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