Aviation

New KC-46 tanker makes its first flight

Eagle staff

Boeing and the 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 in Washington state.
Boeing and the 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 in Washington state. Courtesy photo

The KC-46 tanker being built by Boeing for the U.S. Air Force took its first flight Sunday.

The plane, a Boeing 767-2C, took off from Paine Field, Wash., at 9:29 a.m. Pacific time. It was in the air three hours and 32 minutes before it landed at Boeing Field, according to a news release from Boeing.

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 FAA and military certification process.

Boeing is on contract to deliver the first 18 of 179 KC-46 aircraft to the Air Force by 2017.

McConnell Air Force base in Wichita is scheduled to receive 36 of the planes.

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