Business

December 6, 2017
 

Boeing KC-46A tanker for U.S. Air Force completes first flight

The first KC-46 tanker for the U.S. Air Force takes off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., on its maiden flight. During the three and one-half hour flight, pilots took the aircraft to 39,000 feet and performed operational checks on engines, flight controls and environmental systems. The KC-46 is a multirole tanker than can refuel all allied and coalition aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.

The first Boeing KC-46A tanker that will be delivered to the U.S. Air Force next year successfully completed its first flight and airborne tests Dec. 5, taking off from Paine Field Wash., at 10:32 a.m., PST, and landing approximately three-and-one-half hours later.

“Today’s flight is another milestone for the Air Force/Boeing team and helps move us closer to delivering operational aircraft to the warfighter,” said Col. John Newberry, U.S. Air Force KC-46 System program manager.

During the flight, Boeing test pilots took the tanker to a maximum altitude of 39,000 feet and performed operational checks on engines, flight controls and environmental systems as part of the Federal Aviation Administration-approved flight profile. Prior to subsequent flights, the team will conduct a post-flight inspection and calibrate instrumentation.

“We’re very proud of this aircraft and the state-of-the-art capabilities it will bring to the Air Force,” said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager. “We still have some tough work ahead of us, including completing our FAA certification activities, but the team is committed to ensure that upon delivery, this tanker will be everything our customer expects and more.”

The newest tanker is the KC-46 program’s seventh aircraft to fly to date. The previous six are being used for testing and certification and to date have completed 2,200 flight hours and more than 1,600 “contacts” during refueling flights with F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17, A-10, KC-10 and KC-46 aircraft. 

The KC-46, derived from Boeing’s commercial 767 airframe, is built in the company’s Everett facility. Boeing is currently on contract for the first 34 of an expected 179 tankers for the U.S. Air Force.

The KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Boeing on contract for second Japanese KC-46 tanker

The U.S. Air Force has exercised the option for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s second Boeing KC-46 tanker through the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) process. Boeing was awarded the initial FMS contract for Japan’s first KC-46 aircraft and miscellaneous logistics services in December 2017 following the Japan Ministry of Defense’s KC-X aerial refueling competition. “Japan’s...
 
 
boeing-BBJ

Boeing launches longest-range business jet ever with BBJ 777X

Boeing Business Jets on Dec. 10 announced it is launching the BBJ 777X, a new Boeing Business Jet model that can fly more than half way around the world without stopping, farther than any business jet ever built. “Our mos...
 
 
LM-LCS

Littoral Combat Ship 15 (Billings) completes acceptance trials

Littoral Combat Ship 15, the future USS Billings, recently completed Acceptance Trials in the waters of Lake Michigan. This is the ship’s final significant milestone before delivery. LCS 15 is the eighth Freedom-variant L...