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KC-46A completes test program



The USAF’s new Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker has completed all of its required flight testing, a milestone required prior to a planned first delivery in the fourth quarter of this year.

The end of flight testing included the completion of the KC-46’s military type certification testing and its receiver testing with KC-136, F-16 and C-17 receiver aircraft.

“Our main focus now is obtaining the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the Federal Aviation Administration as well formal Military Type Certification (MTC) from the USAF,” Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager Mike Gibbons said in a statement.

Receiver certification began in April from Boeing Field in Seattle and Edwards AFB. As part of the testing, KC-46 and receiver aircraft flew at different airspeeds, altitudes and weight configurations to ensure compatibility and performance throughout the refuelling envelope.

Six KC-46s supported the STC and MTC testing, completing 3,300 flight hours and offloading two million pounds of fuel to F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17, A-10, KC-10 and KC-46 receivers.

Developed from the commercial 767-2F freighter, the KC-46A has suffered from several development delays that has seen it fall more than 12 months behind its scheduled delivery. The most recent schedule called for the first 18 KC-46As to be delivered to McConnell AFB in Kansas by the end of the year, but this has reportedly slipped to the second quarter of 2019.

Boeing Flight Test Photography, Boeing Field, Seattle, Boeing Test and Evaluation, KC-46A, Pegasus, Tanker, VH005, KC-135 offload to KC-46 over Pacific Ocean, Santa Catalina Island