Royal Air Force - RAF Aircraft - Tristar - r7a18 - Armed Forces



RAF Tristar

The RAF operates a number of Tristar aircraft in the transport role from RAF Brize Norton. Three versions of the Tristar aircraft, the K1, KC2 and C2/C2A are in RAF service.

The K1 aircraft is a dedicated tanker with a single fuelling point.

The KC1 version has a dual role as a transport aircraft and a tanker.

Provided with a side door it can carry 160 passengers and over 40 tons of freight out to a range of 5,700 miles and when used as a tanker, the aircraft can carry up to 136 tons of fuel.

Both tanker versions are capable of receiving fuel in-flight.

C2 and C2A aircraft retain the basic Tristar configuration of 265 seats (260 for passengers) with underfloor baggage space and can carry up to 16 tons of freight. All versions are capable of operating in the casualty evacuation role.

During operations in Afghanistan Tristar aircraft have been extremely valuable in providing air-to-air refuelling for US Navy aircraft. The boom refuelling system on US Air Force (KC-135) tankers is not compatible with US Navy aircraft but the RAF’s drogue system is.

Tristar will be replaced from 2011 by the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) Airbus A330-200s.

TRISTAR Specifications

Passengers Up to 265
Length 164ft 2.5in/50.09m
Span 164ft 6in/50.17m
Max Speed 545mph/872kph at 30,000ft
Engines 3 x Rolls-Royce RB211-524B4 turbofans


In service with:

216 Squadron 8 x Tristar K1/KC1/C2/C2A RAF Brize Norton