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USAF receives first KC-46A Pegasus Tanker aircraft

During extensive flight testing, six planes completed more than 3,800 flight hours

The US Air Force has accepted the first Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft, setting the stage for the airplane’s delivery to McConnell Air Force Base, in Wichita, Kan., in the coming weeks.

During extensive flight testing, six airplanes completed more than 3,800 flight hours and offloaded more than four million pounds of fuel to A-10, B-52, C-17, KC-10, KC-135, KC-46, F-15E, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft. The Pegasus has been rigorously tested throughout all aspects of the refuelling envelope and in all conditions, including day, night and covert.

With the signing of what’s known as the DD250 paperwork, the delivery activities can proceed. McConnell Air Force Base will receive the first four KC-46 planes, all of which are ready for delivery, with four subsequent aircraft destined for Oklahoma’s Altus Air Force Base, beginning as early as next month.

Boeing is on contract for 52 of an expected 179 tankers for the Air Force. Beyond the first aircraft that was accepted today, nine units are undergoing customer acceptance testing with the remaining aircraft of the contracted amount in production.

The KC-46, derived from Boeing’s commercial 767 airframe, is built in industry’s Everett, Wash., facility.

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