The US Air Force (USAF) has successfully completed the first refuelling flight of Boeing-built KC-46A Pegasus tanker (EMD-2) tanker in Washington State.
As part of this development, the test team worked through a series of test points before offloading 1,600lb of fuel to an F-16 fighter aircraft flying at 20,000ft.
Additionally, EMD-2 deployed the boom, which is the telescoping tube that extends to receptacle-equipped receiver aircraft.
USAF KC-46 system programme manager colonel Christopher Coombs said: "Today’s flight is an important milestone for the Air Force / Boeing team because it kicks off the Milestone C aerial refuelling demonstration, which is the prerequisite for the low-rate initial production decision.
"We have a lot of work yet to do, but this is an exciting time for the airmen who are preparing to fly, maintain and support the KC-46 Pegasus for decades to come."
The KC-46A will now begin to refuel other military aircraft such as C-17, F/A-18, A-10 and AV-8B.
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The USAF’s KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refuelling procedures in addition to the transportation of passengers, cargo and patients.
In September, the USAF completed the first flight of a KC-46A at Paine Field in Everett, Washington. So far, the aircraft has completed 32 flights.
The EMD-3 and EMD-4 aircraft are expected to begin flight testing later this year.
Image: First KC-46A Tanker completes refuelling flight. Photo: © 1995 – 2016 Boeing.