US airframer Boeing has successfully completed the first flight of the KC-46 tanker program. The plane, a Boeing 767-2C, took off from Paine Field, Washington, USA at 9:29 a.m. (PST) and landed three hours and 32 minutes later at Boeing Field in Renton. The aircraft will receive its military systems following certification.
The KC-X tanker competition was floated by the US Air force to replace it’s aging KC-135 fleet. As part of the contract awarded in 2011, Boeing is building four test aircraft – two 767-2Cs and two KC-46A Tankers. The 767-2Cs enter flight test as commercial freighters prior to receiving their aerial refueling systems, while the KC-46s will fly as fully equipped tankers through the FAA and military certification process.
Boeing is on contract to deliver the first 18 of 179 KC-46 aircraft to the air force by 2017.