Boeing/US Air Force’s second KC-46A tanker completes first flight

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Boeing’s second KC-46A tanker aircraft successfully completed its first flight on March 2, 2016, taking off from Paine Field, Everett, and later landing at Boeing Field, Seattle, in Washington, USA.

During the flight, Boeing test pilots performed operational checks on engines, flight controls and environmental systems.

The Boeing team will now conduct a post-flight inspection and calibrate instrumentation prior to the next series of flights. As part of the overall flight test program, 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 US 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 program’s first KC-46A tanker, made its maiden flight on 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 US Air Force that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures, and can carry passengers, cargo and patients. Overall, Boeing plans to build 179 KC-46 aircraft for the US Air Force.

March 10, 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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