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Second Boeing U.S. Air Force KC-46A Tanker Completes First Flight

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 year.


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 Force.


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
Neg#: 16BFT000038_004_By_John_D_Parker, 16BFT000038_004_By_John_D_Parker and EMD4_GLH1170_nef16-2.



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The most important thing we build is trust.

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Contact: Charles Ramey
KC-46 Tanker Programme
M: +1 206 851 4147

Greg Caires
Vice President, Corporate Communications
T: +1 703 414 5310

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