Boeing conducts ground and flight testing of USAF's KC-46A tanker


Boeing has conducted ground and flight testing of the KC-46A Pegasus multirole tanker at Travis Air Force Base (AFB) in California.

The testing was carried out by a group of 48 test and evaluation engineers at Boeing and four US Air Force (USAF) personnel from the Detachment 1, 418th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS).

418th FLTS KC-46 test operations engineer Captain Dylan Neidorff said: “The KC-46A is at Travis AFB to conduct military and Federal Aviation Administration certification testing.

“We decided to come to Travis since the base is right in the temperature band required for the testing.”

The Travis AFB, along with Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, was selected as preferred location in January this year for the active-duty-led base for the service’s aerial-refuelling aircraft.

The 60th Operations Support Squadron ensured the KC-46 had fuel availability, a parking space and required maintenance supplies.

The airfield management and air traffic control professionals along with members of the 60th Maintenance Group provided the tanker team with required supplies.

The 60th Logistics Readiness Squadron was responsible for ensuring that the KC-46 had the current fuels.

Boeing Test and Evaluation test director Paul Briedé said: “Because of this type of testing, we needed to offload all of our fuel.

"Travis has underground tanks, which makes it infinitely easier.

"The airfield management and air traffic control professionals along with members of the 60th Maintenance Group provided the tanker team with required supplies."

“At another base we would’ve needed at least four other fuel trucks.”

The first KC-46As are expected to begin arriving at McConnell AFB, Kansas, and Altus AFB, Oklahoma, later this year.

Boeing has designed the KC-46 to be able to detect, avoid, defeat and survive threats using multiple layers of protection.


Image: A Boeing KC-46A Pegasus arrives at Travis Air Force Base. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo / Louis Briscese.