Boeing flies fourth KC-46 test flight aircraft

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Boeing has added the fourth and final flight test aircraft, a 767-2C, to the KC-46 Pegasus fleet, after a successful first flight on April 25, 2016.

During the 1 hour 40 minute-flight, test pilots performed operational engine checks, flight controls and environmental systems checks, and took the 767-2C to a maximum altitude of 39,000ft prior to landing at Boeing Field, south of Seattle, in Washington, USA.

The 767-2C is a KC-46 without the aerial refueling system installed. This aircraft, known as EMD-3, will be used to conduct environmental control system testing, including hot day/cold day testing and smoke penetration testing.

As part of the contract awarded in 2011 to design and develop the US Air Force’s next-generation tanker, Boeing has built four test aircraft – two are configured as 767-2Cs and two as KC-46 tankers. Eventually, both 767-2Cs will become KC-46 tankers.

EMD-1, the first 767-2C test aircraft, has completed more than 315 flight test hours since its first flight in December 2014. EMD-2, the program’s first KC-46 tanker, made its maiden flight in September 2015 and has completed more than 240 flight test hours, including refueling F-16, F/A-18 and AV-8B aircraft. It also has been refueled by a KC-10 tanker.

EMD-4, the second tanker, first flew on March 2, 2016, and has completed 25 flight hours.

Boeing plans to build 179 KC-46 aircraft for the US Air Force.

April 29, 2016

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With over 20 years experience in editorial management and content creation for multiple, market-leading titles at UKi Media & Events (publisher of Aerospace Testing International), one of the UK's fastest growing publishing companies, Anthony has written articles and news covering everything from aircraft, airports and cars, to cruise ships, trains, trucks and even tires!

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