Boeing KC-46A Tanker for U.S. Air Force Completes First Flight
(Source: Boeing Co.; issued Dec 05, 2017)
The first Boeing KC-46A tanker slated for delivery to the US Air Force made its maiden flight on Dec. 5. Boeing has now admitted delivery the first KC-46 will slide into 2018. (Boeing photo)
EVERETT, Wash. --- 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 today, taking off from Paine Field 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 (FAA)-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.


Boeing Will Miss Its Deadline for the KC-46 (excerpt)
(Source: UPI; posted Dec 05, 2017)
By James LaPorta
Boeing will miss its deadline to deliver the first KC-46 tanker to the U.S. Air Force by the end of the year -- an admission that comes a little over month after the company was "very confident" it could meet its self-imposed demand.

The KC-46 Pegasus is a wide-bodied aerial refueling tanker jet being developed for the U.S. Air Force, and it is capable of refueling all U.S. and allied military aircraft capable of mid-air refueling.

"We're not going to be delivering a tanker this year," Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense and Security, told Defense News.

"We are extremely close, we will be delivering [the tankers] in 2018 and there is no doubt in my mind that this is a great franchise for the Boeing Company and we are delivering an incredible capability to the United States Air Force and to the world."

Boeing is required to deliver 18 KC-46s and nine refueling pods by October 2018, a time frame that is already 14 months later than originally planned -- and warnings for further delays have been floated since at least last May. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the UPI website.


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