First Japanese-Built F-35A Officially Unveiled at Nagoya Facility

The first Japanese-assembled F-35A was unveiled at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Komaki South F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility here today. The Japan F-35 FACO is operated by MHI with technical assistance from Lockheed Martin  and oversight from the U.S. Government.

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Approximately 200 people attended the ceremony including Japanese and United States government and defense industry leaders. The ceremony highlighted the strong partnership between the Japanese Ministry of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense, MHI and Lockheed Martin.

Kenji Wakamiya, senior vice minister of defense; Gen. Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) chief of staff; Lt. Gen. Jerry Martinez, commander, U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force; Vice Adm. Mat Winter, F-35 Program Executive Officer; Vice Adm. Dave Lewis, Defense Contract Management Agency Director; Naohiko Abe, MHI’s senior vice president and Integrated Defense & Space Systems president, and Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, attended the milestone event.

“Seeing the first Japanese built F-35A is a testament to the global nature of this program”, said Vice Adm. Mat Winter, F-35 Program Executive Officer.“This state of the art assembly facility, staffed with a talented and motivated workforce, enables us to leverage industry’s unique talents and technological know-how to produce the world’s best multi-role fighter.The F-35 will enhance the strength of our security alliances and reinforce long-established bonds with our allies through training opportunities, exercises, and military-to-military events.”

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The Japanese Ministry of Defense competitively selected the F-35A as the JASDF’s next-generation air defense fighter in December 2011, with a Foreign Military Sales program of record of 42 F-35As. The first four JASDF F-35As were previously delivered from the Fort Worth, Texas, production facility. Subsequent deliveries of 38 F-35A aircraft will come from the FACO here in Japan.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Defense selected the Nagoya FACO in 2014 for the North Asia-Pacific regional heavy airframe Maintenance Repair Overhaul & Upgrade (MROU) facility.

“Building upon our enduring relationship with Japanese industry, we are fully committed to our F-35 production partnership with MHI and our support to the Japan Ministry of Defense,” Carvalho said. “The skilled workers who achieved this milestone know firsthand the F-35’s capability and how this aircraft will only strengthen the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance, thereby building upon Japan’s strategic vision to ensure the Alliance remains strong for decades to come.”

©2017 Lockheed Martin Corporation

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Boeing donates $1 million to six nonprofits at the Warrior Games

Includes $600,000 for U.S.-based veterans nonprofits to provide recovery and rehabilitation services to veterans

CHICAGO, July 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) today announced a $1 million donation to benefit six nonprofit organizations providing rehabilitation and well-being services for veteran and civilian groups, globally. The announcement was made in conjunction with Boeing’s sponsorship of the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games taking place throughout ChicagoJune 30 to July 8.

“The veterans competing in this years’ games are not only distinguished athletes but true heroes who have defended freedom around the world,” said Florent (Flo) Groberg, director of Veterans Outreach for Boeing. “These warriors’ courage, sacrifice and unwavering pride in their service to country are powerful motivators for us here at Boeing and we are proud to support them both on and off the playing field.”

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In the U.S., donations benefited three nonprofit organizations: Yellow Ribbon Fund, Disabled Sports USA and Team Red, White & Blue. The nonprofits provide rehabilitation and recovery services to veterans throughout the nation. Outside the U.S., beneficiaries were Limbs International, The Air League of the United Kingdom and the Australian War Memorial. Limbs International helps restore mobility to amputees in the developing world, and The Air League and Australian War Memorial support veterans and community outreach.

Funds were raised as part of the company’s Boeing Moves the World employee well-being initiative. More than 60,000 Boeing employees came together around the globe to support mobility programs for those in need.

“Events like Boeing Moves the World and the 2017 Warrior Games demonstrate the commitment Boeing and its employees have to serving our communities and supporting veterans around the world,” said Greg Marchand, director of Global Benefits for Boeing. “Our employees are actively engaged in improving their health and well-being all while living the Boeing mission to help others and inspire the world.”

The grants awarded in conjunction with Boeing’s sponsorship of the 2017 Warrior Games include the following:

  • Yellow Ribbon Fund$200,000 to help provide practical direct support to recovering warriors and caregivers at Walter Reed and Fort Belvoir and vital assistance throughout the military to civilian transition process.
  • Disabled Sports USA$200,000 to develop programs that provide national leadership opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs.
  • Team Red, White & Blue$200,000 to help connect veterans to their community through physical and social activity.

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The additional $400,000 in grants will benefit international nonprofits focused on providing mobility services for veterans in the United Kingdom and Australia as well as civilian populations.

Copyright © 1995 – 2017 Boeing.

Quick News – Paris Airshow June 2017 Edition

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Airbus and Safran to market an “eTaxi” electric taxiing system for A320 Family

Following the completion of an extensive R&T phase, an electric taxiing solution, called “eTaxi”, has received ‘Authorisation To Market’ approval by Airbus and Safran, for application on the A320 Family. Depending on the airline feedback, the actual program could subsequently be launched in the near future. eTaxi’s electric motors in the main landing gear, powered by electricity from the APU (auxiliary power unit), would allow an aircraft fitted with it to taxi without using its jet engines or requiring airport tractors or tugs. eTaxi would provide airlines with a sustainable solution which combines savings on operating costs (including a reduction of around four percent in fuel costs, equal to several hundred thousand dollars per aircraft annually), independent movement on the ground (saving around two minutes of time on pushback), as well as ecological advantages such reduced carbon and NOx emissions, and less noise during taxiing.

EFW secures second A330-300P2F conversion contract from DHL Express

DHL Express has ordered an additional four firm and 10 optional A330-300 passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversions from Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), the joint venture between ST Aerospace and Airbus. This follows the launch contract for four similar A330-300P2F conversions that was also awarded by DHL Express in July last year. The first aircraft under the launch contract is currently undergoing conversion at EFW’s Dresden-based facilities, and is on track to be redelivered by the end of 2017. The A330P2F conversion programme, launched in 2012, is a collaboration between ST Aerospace, Airbus and EFW. ST Aerospace, as the programme and technical lead for the engineering development phase, is responsible for applying for the supplemental type certificates for the freighter conversions, from the European Aviation Safety Agency and the US Federal Aviation Administration. Aircraft OEM Airbus contributes to the programme with OEM data and certification support, while EFW leads the industrialisation phase and marketing for the freighter conversion programme.

Airbus selects Rockwell Collins for “FOMAX” program to digitally connect A320 aircraft and operators

Rockwell Collins has been selected by Airbus for the flight operations and maintenance exchanger (FOMAX) program on the Airbus A320 family of aircraft. FOMAX is a compact connectivity unit which collects aircraft maintenance and performance data and automatically sends it to ground-based operations and also to mobile applications used by flight crews. The unit also sends data automatically into efficiency applications such as weather, flight planning, logbooks, maintenance prediction and performance calculators, all of which bring improved new levels of productivity and value to airline operations. The FOMAX architecture facilities the Wi-Fi network for secure crew connectivity on the aircraft, as well as the cellular and terminal Wi-Fi equipment and interfaces with all major SATCOM connectivity types. FOMAX is a key airborne component of Airbus’ Skywise aviation data platform, launched at Le Bourget.

Airbus and Inmarsat partner for European Aviation Network broadband deployment

Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has signed a collaborative agreement for its new European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight broadband service with Airbus. Under the strategic partnership, Airbus will offer airlines a specialist retrofit solution to deploy EAN – the world’s first integrated satellite and air-to-ground network dedicated to providing a true in-flight broadband experience for the European aviation industry – on the entire A320 family of aircraft. The Airbus retrofit solution consists of modification kits with all cabin network equipment required for EAN deployment. It also includes service bulletins (SBs) that detail the tasks and materials needed for installation and also certify the airworthiness of related modification work.

Malaysia Airlines signs two Flight Hour Services (FHS) Components support agreements with Airbus for its A350 XWB and A330 fleets

Malaysia Airlines has selected Services by Airbus to provide Flight Hour Services (FHS) Components support for its new fleet of six A350 XWB and existing fleet of 18 A330s. These long-term agreements cover guaranteed spare parts availability through an extensive scope of A350 XWB and A330 Line Replaceable Units (LRUs), maintenance and logistics services at Malaysia Airlines’ main base and selected outstations. To ensure continuously the highest level of operational performance, Malaysia Airlines will fully benefit from the FHS pool located in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, managed by Airbus.

JetSMART becomes Services by Airbus’ first FHS-TSP customer in Latin America

JetSMART, a new Chilean low cost airline based in Santiago, has signed a Flight Hour Services – Tailored Support Package (FHS-TSP) contract with Airbus for the provision of full components support and fleet technical management services for its brand new A320 family aircraft. This five-year FHS-TSP contract guarantees spare parts availability through an extensive scope of A320 line replaceable units (LRUs), components repair, transportation and expendables provisioning together with fleet technical management (FTM) services where JetSMART will benefit from Airbus’ experience and expertise to optimise their aircraft maintenance and engineering operations. This latest selection by JetSMART marks an important step in Airbus’ FHS strategy to deploy engineering expertise in Latin America. Airbus FHS contracts have now been selected to cover more than 372 aircraft from operators of A320, A330, A380 and A350 XWB. JetSMART is the Chilean-based, ultra-low-cost carrier that was developed this year by private equity investment firm Indigo Partners LLC. Indigo has over 15 years of experience in global aviation. Currently, it has investments in Wizz Air (Europe), Volaris (Mexico) and Frontier Airlines (United States).

Interjet becomes customer of “Maintenance Mobility” and “Predictive Risk Management” services

Interjet has become customer for Airbus’ “Maintenance Mobility” including electronic Job Cards and “Predictive Risk Management” services following a contract recently signed with Airbus. Maintenance Mobility with electronic Job Cards allows the airline mechanics to have all of the technical information they need on iPads as well as full electronic job cards with electronic signature, hence effectively eliminating paper in maintenance operations. “Maintenance Mobility” and “Predictive Risk Management” are part of several services in the Smarter Fleet™ cloud-based services platform developed by Airbus. The agreement with Interjet covers the integration of the services into the airline’s information systems, including the maintenance information system (MIS), as well as the software and data hosting. The deployment will be accomplished step-by-step with Airbus experts working on-site with Interjet in order to spread the integration and manage change gradually.

Airbus supports the pilot training partnership between ENAC and Institut MERMOZ

French aviation school ENAC, together with Institut MERMOZ are partnering to provide a single theoretical ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot Licence) offer, for phases 1 & 2 of a cadet’s flight training curriculum, a major part of the flight training. The agreement supersedes their previously individual ATPLs textbooks collections with one brand new collection, taking the best practices from both. ENAC and Institut MERMOZ will also offer fully fledged e-learning services for theoritical ATPL. Airbus provides its aircraft images, logos and schemas within this ATPL, and has demonstrated its support by allowing them to state ‘in co-operation with Airbus’ and use the Airbus logo on the cover.

Airbus recognises suppliers for excellent in-service performance

On the occasion of the annual Airbus Suppliers Awards ceremony at the Paris Air Show, Airbus distributed Awards and Certificates to Systems & Equipment suppliers. Five suppliers obtained the top award: Airbus (avionics), Rockwell Collins (avionics), Thales avionics, Airbus (cabin electronics) / Kid-Systeme and Crane Aerospace. Their respective high performances were identified through Airbus’ annual Supplier Support Rating process, which this year captured in-service feedback from over 150 Airbus customers. Airbus takes the rating feedback as a basis to drive the suppliers’ support improvements by ensuring dedicated actions are launched by the suppliers. This benefits the operators of Airbus fleet all over the world. The next rating cycle will be launched in January 2018.

Services by Airbus now accessible via online portal and apps

Services by Airbus has launched a new dedicated portal designed for customers, available from any devices at the following address: services.airbus.com. Complementing Services by Airbus’ portfolio of products and services and the latest news, the portal allows customers to request a booking of a dry Full-Flight Simulator session or e-training. In the future the portal will also offer a private function to optimise services delivery by enabling eCommerce and a dashboard capacity.

NAVBLUE partners with Flightradar24 to launch N-tracking and Airbus digital eco-system is initiated

With the upcoming ICAO mandate leading to full Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) capability by 2021, NAVBLUE, the Airbus Flight Ops and ATM services company, reinforces its partnership with Flightradar24, following the last two years successful collaboration together, to provide aircraft operators with an innovative flight tracking solution, called N-Tracking. N-Tracking integrates different sources of information to track aircraft in the world based on the Flightradar24 ground receivers and ACARS. The solution will provide alerts in case of critical aircraft operations and a collaborative decision making information system for dispatcher to manage airport congestions, delays and turnarounds. NAVBLUE offering and all the industry will benefit in the near future from the Airbus collaboration with Spire and Flightradar24 to develop a surveillance digital eco-system fusing space and ground data to provide near real time global data.

NAVBLUE appointed by Aviolinx as exclusive resell partner for its Airline Management System

NAVBLUE has signed a MoU with Aviolinx, a Swedish-based company specialised in software, communications and services to the airline industry, to appoint NAVBLUE as an exclusive resell partner for its solution called “RAIDO” – an airline management system. RAIDO covers aspects of airline management processes and handles the entire end-to-end planning and operation process in one single application using multi source of information and one database. RAIDO caters to types of airline business models, from national to low cost carriers, enabling airlines to efficiently manage operations and crew resources in both the long and short term. With RAIDO as a complement to NAVBLUE’s crew and flight-planning applications, NAVBLUE offers the state-of-the-art applications for Operation Control Centers to manage efficiently operations and giving operators the edge over the competition.

NAVBLUE partners with OpenAirlines on fuel-saving analytics solution

NAVBLUE has signed a MoU with OpenAirlines, a Toulouse-based company, to become a reseller partner for its solution called Skybreathe, a comprehensive fuel preservation solution for airlines. Skybreathe uses Big Data algorithms and automatically analyses the large amount of available data in flight data recorders to assess flights’ efficiency. Results of the analysis are displayed into an intuitive interface accessible from desk computer, laptops, tablets and mobile. Skybreathe will constitute the Optimize module of the Analytics by NAVBLUE suite, which will help operators to save more than two percent of fuel.

© Airbus S.A.S. 2017

Airbus presents the A380+

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Focus on efficiency and cabin comfort enhancements for Airbus A380 and A320 Family

A developmental study for an enhanced A380 with even better economics and improved operational performance was unveiled at the start of this week’s Paris Air Show, where Airbus also announced the extension of its “Airspace” cabin brand to the A320 Family.

These steps underscored Airbus’ commitment to the continuous evolution of its product line with improvements for both airline operators and the passengers they fly.

The A380plus developmental study involves five enhancement elements: aerodynamic improvements for a reduction in fuel burn; an increase in the number of available seats in the upper and lower deck cabins; improvements to onboard systems; changes to the maintenance schedule; and a higher maximum take-off weight.

“We’ve spoken to our existing customers and have received positive feedback on the improvements envisioned for the A380plus,” said Frank Vermeire, Head of A380 Marketing at Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

A wide range of enhancements for A380plus

New winglets and other aerodynamic refinements to the wing are expected to result in up to 4 per cent reduction in fuel burn. These new winglets – shown for the first time on an A380 at the Paris Air Show – would be larger than the wingtip fences used today, but their design ensures the A380’s overall dimensions remain within the 80 x 80-meter envelope developed from the start by Airbus for the jetliner’s compatibility with airport infrastructure.

Recently-announced “cabin enablers” offered for A380s – including redesigned access stairs between decks, sidewall stowage removal, and new seating configurations – could be combined with a maximum take-off weight increased by three tonnes for the A380plus. This enables up to 80 additional seats to be fitted while maintaining the A380’s current flight range of 8,200 nm. – bringing total capacity up to 575 passengers. Alternatively, the aircraft’s range could be extended by 330 nm. at today’s passenger capacity.

Improvements to system components proposed in the A380plus configuration range from a fourth-generation passenger in-flight entertainment system to fuel pumps with high-slip induction motors derived from A350 XWB jetliner, which have simplified electronics for enhanced reliability. A new flight management system (the specialized computer that assists the flight crew in navigating the aircraft) also is offered in the A380plus definition.

Staying ahead of the competition with A380plus

Lastly, a modified maintenance calendar for the A380plus would enable the aircraft to spend more time aloft earning revenue. “By extending the maintenance intervals, an A380plus could produce $1 million net-present-value savings over 15 years,” said Vermeire.  What’s more, he added, “every year, an A380plus would spend an average of six additional days flying instead of in a maintenance hangar – resulting in approximately $27 million in additional revenue.”

All told, these improvements add up to a 13 per cent operating cost-per-seat reduction for an A380plus compared to the current A380. “The market around the A380 is constantly moving,” concluded Vermeire. “We see the improvements in the A380plus as a great step to make the A380 even more efficient, ensuring it stays well ahead of the competition, while still offering passengers a unique flying experience in the best cabin in the sky.”

Cabin innovation: “Airspace by Airbus” comes to the A320 Family

The “Airspace by Airbus” concept for innovation in jetliner cabins, originally tailored for the widebody A350 XWB and the upcoming A330neo, is now available for the A320 Family – bringing market-leading comfort, innovation and design to the company’s single-aisle product line.

“By expanding the design language of Airspace by Airbus to our A320 Family, we will create a real family feel among these three aircraft types,” explained Paul Edwards, the Head of Design and Brand Management at Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “The Airspace cabin brand is built around four key pillars: comfort, ambience, services and design, which together create a more comfortable, relaxing and attractive environment for passengers, while providing a platform for airline operators to promote their brand.”

Edwards said Airspace already is equipped on more than 80 in-service A350 XWBs, with extremely positive passenger feedback.

New overhead bins for the A320 Family with Airspace

Passengers on A320 Family jetliners in both the NEO (New Engine Option) and CEO (Current Engine Option) versions will be able to enjoy Airspace’s unmatched comfort experience from 2020.

Among the cabin features specifically for Airspace-equipped A320 Family aircraft are completely new overhead stowage bins. Developed in a fixed configuration rather than the tilt-down bins widely used today, they accommodate bags as large as 24 x 16 x 10 inches and provide 40 per cent more volume. This simple-but-stylish solution offers unprecedented space for luggage while enhancing the boarding experience for passengers and cabin crewmembers alike.

New welcome lighting in the entrance area and iconic ceiling lighting complement the full-colour RGB mood lighting system, helping to create a unique mood, ambience and atmosphere.

In addition, A320 Family lavatories are updated to match the Airspace features developed for the A330neo and A350 XWB – including ambient sound, aroma dispensers and antibacterial surfaces – further enhancing this area. Careful interior arrangement and clever design provides improved spaciousness as well.

Edwards said the lavatory enhancements are considered by Airbus as an important element for the enhanced in-flight experience with Airspace, adding: “other than the passenger seat, this is one the area aboard an aircraft that is visited by almost everyone while airborne.”

Giving “every single millimetre” to passengers

For the A320 Family’s Airspace cabin, Airbus has placed an emphasis on personal space. “We’ve increased the width of the cabin by approximately an inch in the important head and shoulder areas,” Edwards said. “The designers worked very closely with engineers, and found every millimetre we could to give back to the passenger.”

Further boosting the personal space are new ergonomic sidewalls that also improve visibility thanks to improved window surrounds with shades that fully retract when in the raised position.

Airbus makes Paris Air Show headlines on opening day

In addition to announcing the expansion of “Airspace by Airbus” and introducing the A380plus developmental study, Airbus opened the Paris Air Show with two commercial order announcements from leasing customers.

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the aviation leasing and financing arm of GE, signed a firm order for 100 A320neo Family jetliners, to be powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines. This order increases the total number of Airbus jetliners ordered by GECAS to almost 600 – of which 220 are members of the A320neo Family.

“The feedback from our customers [on the A320neo] has been extremely positive in terms of fuel efficiency and noise abatement,” said Alec Burger, President and CEO of GECAS at a press conference in the Airbus pavilion at Le Bourget Airport. “This contract is a continuation of a great relationship with Airbus, and we look forward to the road ahead.”

Separately, Air Lease Corporation placed a firm order for 12 additional A321neo aircraft, raising the overall number of Airbus jetliners which it has received, or are on order, to 279 – of which 209 are from the single-aisle A320 Family and the other 70 are widebodies.

Airbus also welcomed a very important guest today to the Paris Air Show, with French President Emmanuel Macron arriving in the morning for his official visit and exhibit tour aboard an Airbus A400M military airlifter operated by the French Air Force.

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During the inbound flight, Macron watched the A400M’s flight crew in action – riding in a cockpit jump seat. After landing at Le Bourget Airport, the French president was accompanied by Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders for a walkaround of the company’s aircraft on display.

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© Airbus S.A.S. 2017

Boeing to Deliver the U.S. Navy’s First P8A Poseidon Trainers

ARLINGTON, Va., June 6, 2017 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] will deliver the U.S. Navy’s first deployable P-8A Poseidon trainers, allowing aircrew and operators to improve their mission readiness even while serving away from home.

Under a recently signed contract, Boeing will provide seven Deployable Mission Readiness Trainers (DMRTs) to the Navy, starting in 2019.

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“Training ensures the Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance community is proficient in anti-submarine warfare. By using these trainers, crews are trained without adding flight hours to the aircraft,” said CDR. John Thoe, P-8A training systems integrated product team lead. “DMRTs will fulfill these important requirements by providing high-fidelity, crew-based training to deployed squadrons.”

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The proposed DMRT design is portable with low-power requirements and includes Boeing’s Weapons Tactics Trainer system, which incorporates sonobuoy and ocean acoustics modeling.

The U.S. Navy trains P-8A Poseidon aircrews at naval air stations in Jacksonville, Fla., and Whidbey Island, Wash. Seventy percent of the training for P-8A aircrews takes place in simulators and other trainers; the remaining 30 percent uses the actual aircraft.

Boeing is also under contract to deliver a complete P-8A training system to the Royal Australian Air Force, beginning in 2018.

Copyright © 1995 – 2017 Boeing. All Rights Reserved.

Boeing Awarded $2.8B for KC-46A Tanker Initial Production

EVERETT, Wash.,– The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing [NYSE: BA] $2.8 billion on Aug. 18 for KC-46A tanker low-rate initial production.

The award includes the first two “production lots” of 7 and 12 planes respectively, as well as spare parts. Including future options, Boeing plans to build a total of 179 of the 767-based refueling aircraft for the Air Force to replace their KC-135 fleet.

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“The KC-46 tanker will provide the Air Force unprecedented refueling capabilities, operational flexibility and combat readiness,” said Leanne Caret, Boeing Defense, Space & Security president and CEO. “It’s an important day for the company and program. We’re excited about building low-rate initial production aircraft, and it’s only possible because of the hard work of the joint Boeing-Air Force team.”

This step forward follows a Defense Acquisition Board review and announcement that the KC-46 program completed “Milestone C” — a set of required ground- and flight-test tests – and is approved for initial production. Those tests included refueling flights with F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, KC-10, C-17 and A-10 aircraft and a cargo handling demo.

Boeing received an initial contract in 2011 to design and develop the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation tanker aircraft. As part of that contract Boeing built four test aircraft – two configured as 767-2Cs and two as KC-46A tankers. The test aircraft have completed more than 1,000 flight hours to date.

The KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.

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Boeing is assembling KC-46 aircraft at its Everett, Wash., facility. The company will begin delivering tankers to the Air Force in 2017.

Copyright © 1995 – 2016 Boeing.