The term air-to-air means “from the air to the air.” I know that’s a difficult concept to comprehend, so I hope I haven’t lost any of you.
An air-to-air missile, for example, is a missile that is fired from one aircraft to another aircraft while they are both in flight. This is generally considered to be a somewhat hostile gesture. It is a fairly good indication that the pilot or gunner (if the pilot is not also the gunner) is not a particularly close friend or relative of the person or people in the other aircraft.
Air-to-air fueling is also possible. In this case, an airplane carrying a large fuel supply flies in formation with a plane needing to be refueled. A pipe is extended from the plane with the fuel to a portal into the fuel tank of plane requiring fuel. Fuel is then transferred from the air-tanker to the other aircraft in midair.
Air-to-air fueling is pretty much done only by the military.
Hmm. Air-to-air missiles and air-to-air fueling for the military; it sounds as though the military is trying to corner the market on this whole air-to-air concept. Anti-trust regulators should have a look at that.
However, if I were an anti-trust investigator I wouldn’t investigate too aggressively. After all, it is the military we’re talking about. They have big guns, tanks and, in addition to air-to-air missiles, they also have ground-to-ground and air-to-ground missiles. You probably don’t want to risk upsetting these folks too much.