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First KC-46 baseline aircraft due this month

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posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 04:03 PM
The first of four baseline KC-46A test aircraft is due to be delivered this month. It's scheduled to fly this summer. The first 767-2C will complete major assembly, before going in to the finishing shop to add fuel tanks, then undergoing vibration testing on the ground. This aircraft is scheduled to undergo FAA testing to ensure that it can fly at the altitudes required, take off in the distances required, etc.

For the first time the aircraft are being built with the military systems in mind from the start. Instead of having to be torn down to add the fuel tanks, and modifications, the fittings and placement areas for the extra fuel tanks are being built into the airframe, so all that will have to be done is install the tanks.

The first flight of a fully integrated, military ready KC-46A will take place in 2015.

The first of four Air Force KC-46A baseline test aircraft will complete major assembly later this month before taking off on its first scheduled test-flight later this summer, Air Force and Boeing officials said.

Although only a developmental flight of a test aircraft, the upcoming flight marks a significant milestone in a long Air Force effort to build a new aerial tanker for its fleet.

The upcoming test flight of the 767 2C developmental aircraft, called a provision freighter, will begin an extensive testing, evaluation and certification process in the Air Force’s multi-year effort to replace its aging KC-135 and KC-10 tanker fleets, Maj. Gen. John Thompson, Program Executive Officer for Tankers, told Military​.com in an interview.

“The first aircraft will go directly into the flight test program where it will start working on FAA certification test points – proving that the aircraft can fly at the altitudes it is committed to flying at, proving that it can take off and land at the distances it has committed to, and ensuring that it can go from one altitude to another altitude,” Thompson said.

posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 04:55 PM
Nice, I think I'll take some trips up there (45 minutes) this summer to take some take-off and landing shots.

posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 05:03 PM
And not a moment to soon.

They are retiring the tanker fleet faster than replacing them.

posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 09:26 AM
They have officially given the aircraft a name. Pegasus.

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