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First KC-46 out of Boeing to conduct tests with the USAF

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World Defense & Security Industry News - Boeing Defense
 
 
First KC-46 out of Boeing to conduct tests with the USAF
 
Boeing’s first test KC-46A aircraft has arrived at USAF’s Edwards Air Force Base where it is scheduled to carry out a series of tests in cooperation with the 418th Flight Test Squadron. These include Ground Effects and Fuel Onload Fatigue testing of the platform, which are expected to last for a period of two weeks. The platform has arrived in California, from Seattle, with a combined Boeing and USAF crew of pilots and engineers.
     
First KC-46 out of Boeing to conduct tests with USAFjpgBoeing and the 418th Flight Test Squadron are conducting ground effects and fuel onload fatigue testing on the new KC-46A Pegasus. While the KC-46's role is to refuel other aircraft, it too may need to be refueled from other KC-10s or KC-135s to extend its range
(Credit: USAF/Christopher Okula)
     
Ground Effects are carried out to collect aerodynamic data as part of its certification and in order to provide the necessary information for the development of the aircraft’s simulator.

Fuel Onload Fatigue will test the KC-46A’s role as a refueled aircraft. Although the platform has been designed to provide aircraft with fuel, it is also capable of being refueled from other tankers, in order to remain in the required airspace for a longer time. So these tests will validate its ability to receive fuel from a KC-135 or a KC-10.

According to USAF Capt. Dylan Neidorff, Edwards Air Force Base is an ideal ground for testing. This is thanks to its good weather and long runways. Regarding the Fuel Onload Fatigue, the air base has state-of-the-art measuring instruments.

The KC-46A Pegasus was selected in 2011 to replace the 50-year old fleet of KC-135 tanker aircraft. Boeing will build 179 units by 2027. It is based on the Boeing 767-200 commercial aircraft but it incorporates a series of technological advantages from the 787 Dreamliner, such as the digital flight deck. It will carry a maximum of 212,299 lbs (96 tons) of fuel. The dispense of the fuel will be through an advanced KC-10 boom, which will have a rate of 4,560 litres per minute. It will also feature two probe and drogue units under each of the wings.