EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, California --
The 412th Logistics Readiness Squadron recently took delivery of two of the newest version of the Large Capacity Refuel Vehicle, LCRV, at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
The LCRV is an aircraft refueling truck designed to receive, transport, store, pump, and transfer turbine and jet fuels. At almost 60 feet long, the LCRV has an 18,000 gallon capacity, three times more than the previous R-11 refueling vehicle. Edwards is one of three Air Force bases to receive the new LCRV and test them.
“It’s exciting being able to be a part of this new experiment seeing how these large trucks are able to fuel these large airplanes more efficiently, without having to send smaller refuelers to be able to accomplish the same task,” said Daniel Beasley, a Fuels Distribution Service Operator, 412th LRS.
The larger capacity means fueler crews can cut down on the number of trucks and personnel involved in fueling operations from three to just one.
“If you can do it with one truck, it is way better than having to send three people out to that same servicing,” said Mike Nelson, training adviser for LCRV manufacturer Stephens Pneumatics. “The airplane doesn’t care how it gets 18,000 gallons, it just wants 18,000 gallons.”
Besides a larger capacity, the LCRV also boasts a host of improvements over its predecessors, the R-11 and R-12 fuelers. The LCRV’s fuel delivery system is capable of fueling at a flow rate of up to 1,000 GPM (gallons per minute), almost double of the R-11s. Furthermore, it can also be attached to a Type III hydrant system like the R-12.
“This is more beneficial because you can complete different types of operations a lot quicker,” said Brandon Tate, Fuels Contracting Officer Representative, 412th LRS.
The capability to connect to a hydrant system makes the LCRV flexible to changing operations. The vehicle also offers a built-in elevator that makes it more versatile.
“The efficiency is really in the manpower aspect,” Nelson said. “You can do refueling of heavy equipment out on a hot cargo pad or some place that you don’t have a hydrant pit available to you and you don’t have to have three people do it, you can do it with just one person.”
The LCRV’s the automation also provides to the operational energy aspect Nelson added, which also provides the optimal pressure to deliver the fuel safely and effectively.
“It is only going to take the gas you need running the engine to provide the pressure that the aircraft needs to be refueled, so we’re hoping that creates an operational energy savings for the Air Force,” Nelson explained. “If you’re doing a hydrant servicing, as long as you have 90 or more pounds of air pressure, the engine doesn’t even need to be running to do a hydrant servicing with this vehicle, that’s an improvement over previous technologies.”
The LCRV’s new features makes it a vital addition to Edwards’ fleet of fuel trucks as it services multiple types of test aircraft, ranging from fighters and bombers to large cargo and air fueling aircraft. As Team Edwards conducts the flight test mission, units like the 412th LRS help forge the nation’s sword and shield by providing fuel support to the 412th Test Wing as well as test new logistics equipment.