KC-46 Completes Flight Testing Required for October First Aircraft Delivery
(Source: US Air Force; issued July 13, 2018
A KC-46A Pegasus tanker takes off from Boeing Field, Seattle, June 4, 2018. The KC-46 program achieved an important milestone July 6, with completion of the final flight tests required for first aircraft delivery to the U.S. Air Force. (Courtesy photo)
WASHINGTON --- The KC-46 Pegasus program achieved an important milestone July 6, 2018, at Boeing Field, Seattle, with completion of the final flight tests required for first aircraft delivery planned in late October.
The integrated Air Force and Boeing test team completed all required test points for the Remote Vision System and for receiver certifications of the F-16 Fighting Falcon and C-17 Globemaster III. These two receivers, coupled with testing completed in June of KC-135 Stratotanker refueling the KC-46 as a receiver, are the minimum required for delivery.
“With this milestone complete, the test program has demonstrated a level of maturity that positions Boeing to deliver, and the Air Force to accept, an aircraft by the end of October 2018,” said Dr. Will Roper, the Air Force service acquisition executive.
The KC-46 test program is now transitioning to follow-on receiver aircraft testing and certifications required for operational testing starting in 2019.
On June 4, 2018, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein met with the men and women testing the KC-46 at Boeing Field to witness their hard work firsthand. While flying on a scheduled KC-46 test mission, Goldfein flew the aircraft and its boom in between test points, and observed C-17 receiver aircraft certification testing.
“It was a pleasure to fly the KC-46, an aircraft that will enhance our lethality and global warfighting capabilities,” Goldfein said. After the recent test point completion, he added, “I am encouraged by the team’s progress in putting another significant milestone behind us. The collective Air Force, Boeing, Federal Aviation Administration, and Defense Contract Management Agency team is laser-focused on the remainder of activities needed to certify and accept this much-needed tanker in late October.
“I am excited for our Air Force as we move closer to having this aircraft in the hands of our warfighters who will unleash its demonstrated capabilities in support of the Joint fight.”
Boeing KC-46 Program Completes Flight Testing Required for First Delivery to U.S. Air Force
(Source: Boeing Co.; issued July 13, 2018)
EVERETT, Wash. --- Boeing and U.S Air Force teams recently achieved a major KC-46 tanker program milestone, completing all flight testing required for first delivery. This past week, the KC-46 team concluded both its Military Type Certification testing and receiver certification testing with KC-135, F-16 and C-17 aircraft.
“This is a significant achievement for the Boeing-Air Force team and continues us on our path to first delivery in October,” said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager. “Great teamwork all around!”
Receiver certification, which began in April, was conducted from Boeing Field in Seattle and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. As part of the testing, KC-46 and receiver aircraft flew at different airspeeds, altitudes and configurations to ensure compatibility and performance throughout the refueling envelope of each receiver.
Receiver certification testing of A-10 and KC-46 has also begun, with final certification of A-10, F/A-18, KC-46, F-15 and B-52 to be completed prior to the start of Initial Operational Test & Evaluation testing.
“Our main focus now is obtaining the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the Federal Aviation Administration as well formal Military Type Certification (MTC) from the U.S. Air Force,” Gibbons said.
The KC-46 test team completed STC flight testing in April and is now working through associated paperwork prior to STC award.
The program has six aircraft that have supported various segments of STC and MTC testing. Overall, they have completed 3,300 flight hours and offloaded two million pounds of fuel 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, Wash., facility. Boeing is currently on contract for the first 34 of an expected 179 tankers for the U.S. Air Force.
When in service, the KC-46 will refuel U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft using its boom and hose and drogue systems, but also must be able to take on fuel to extend its operational range. The boom allows the tanker to transfer up to 1,200 gallons of fuel per minute, while the hose and drogue systems, located on both the plane’s wing and centerline, enables the KC-46 to refuel smaller aircraft with up to 400 gallons of fuel per minute.
The KC-46A is a multirole tanker that is designed to refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.