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.