KC-46 Completes Milestone by
Refueling Fighter Jet, Cargo Plane
88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio — (AFNS)
— July 13, 2016 — The KC-46A Pegasus connected in flight with an F-16 Fighting
Falcon and a C-17 Globemaster III July 8 and July 12, respectively, as part of a
These tests with the F-16 and C-17 were in support of the
Milestone C requirements to rendezvous, contact and transfer fuel to several
receiver aircraft types.
A KC-46A Pegasus refuels a C-17 Globemaster III during a test
flight July 12, 2016. The successful mission tested the hydraulic pressure
relief valves installed to correct higher than expected axial loads in the boom.
An initial attempt with the F-16 earlier this year was
successful; however, higher than expected axial loads on the boom were detected.
These loads were again present during the initial attempt with the C-17 and
necessitated installation of hydraulic pressure relief valves in the boom.
The recent successful tests show the boom axial loads
hardware fix, designed by Boeing engineers, is performing as expected to
alleviate the loads.
"I'm encouraged by these results,” Air Force Secretary
Deborah Lee James said. “The KC-46 program continues to move forward, making
important progress that will get this vital capability into the hands of the
The final Milestone C flight test is to transfer fuel through
the fixed boom to an A-10 Thunderbolt II. That test is also slated to occur in
"Once complete with the A-10, we will request approval from
Mr. Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and
logistics, to award production Lots 1 and 2, totaling 19 KC-46A aircraft," said
Darlene Costello, Air Force Service Acquisition executive.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein added, "While
it took some time, this week's results confirm my confidence the Boeing team
will get this figured out. It's reassuring to see the program take this
important step toward the production decision in August.”
Fighting Falcon KC-46A
Pegasus test Wright-Patterson