Oct 13, 2014
Boeing's First Test KC-46 Tanker Won't Fly Before Late November
That's a delay of two months or more beyond the projection Boeing's leadership gave in July.
The 767-based tankers roll off the commercial assembly line.
Despite the delay, Boeing remains on track to fulfill its contract requirement of having 18 tankers built and ready to deploy by late 2017.
The first test plane that is to fly later this year will have the tanker airframe but won't be fitted with the military systems -- including boom and drogue refueling systems, a refueling-operator station, military avionics, night vision and missile-defense systems -- that make the aircraft a combat-ready tanker.
The second plane to fly, scheduled for next April, will be the first real tanker.
The U.S. Air Force plans to buy a total of 179 of the tankers, to be delivered through 2027.