The Boeing Company and U.S. Air Force successfully completed the first flight of the KC-46 tanker test program Sunday. The plane, a Boeing 767-2C, took off from Paine Field, Wash., at 12:29 p.m. (EST) and landed three hours and 32 minutes later at Boeing Field. The aircraft will receive its military systems following certification.
As part of a contract awarded in 2011 to design and develop the Air Force’s next-generation tanker aircraft, Boeing is building four test aircraft – two 767-2Cs and two KC-46A Tankers. The 767-2Cs enter flight test as commercial freighters prior to receiving their aerial refueling systems, while the KC-46s will fly as fully equipped tankers through the Federal Aviation Administration and military certification process.
Boeing is on contract to deliver the first 18 of 179 KC-46 aircraft to the Air Force by 2017.