The Boeing [NYSE: BA] test team successfully completed the first flight of the programme’s second KC-46A tanker aircraft yesterday, taking off from Paine Field and landing later at Boeing Field in Seattle.
During the flight, Boeing test pilots performed operational
checks on engines, flight controls and environmental systems.
"Adding a second tanker to the flight test programme is very
important as we move into the next phase of testing," said Col.
John Newberry, U.S. Air Force KC-46 System programme manager. "The
team will initially use the aircraft to test mission system
avionics and exterior lighting. Later, it will share the air
refueling effort with the first KC-46."
The Boeing team now will conduct a post-flight inspection and
calibrate instrumentation prior to the next series of flights. As
part of the overall flight test programme, the KC-46 will
demonstrate it can refuel 18 different aircraft. The second tanker
will help share the test load and receiver certification.
Boeing was awarded a contract in 2011 to design and develop the
U.S. Air Force's next-generation tanker aircraft and is building
four test aircraft - two are currently configured as 767-2Cs and
two as KC-46A tankers.
EMD-1, a 767-2C test aircraft, has completed more than 260
flight test hours to date since its first flight in December 2014.
EMD-2, the programme's first KC-46A tanker, made its maiden flight
September 25, 2015 and has now completed more than 180 flight test
hours. EMD-3, a 767-2C, will begin flight testing later this
The KC-46A is a multirole tanker Boeing is building for the U.S.
Air Force that can refuel all allied and coalition military
aircraft compatible with international air-to-air refueling
procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients. Overall,
Boeing plans to build 179 KC-46 aircraft for the U.S. Air
A unit of The Boeing Company, Defense, Space & Security is
one of the world's largest defence, space and security businesses
specialising in innovative and capabilities-driven customer
solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer
of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Defence, Space
& Security is a $31 billion business with about 50,000
employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.
Photo credit: Boeing
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