Dec 10, 2014

Boeing KC-46 Tanker On Track For Flight By This Month

Boeing “still tracking for this year” on first flight of prototype KC-46 tanker, Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, top Air Force military acquisition official, says in interview with Bloomberg’s Tony Capaccio.
“Flight is a major milestone” for the $51b, 179-aircraft program, Pawlikowski says
“I am not absolutely certain that it will make it this year, but everything I’m seeing is making me more and more optimistic” than last month
First flight already more than 6 mos. behind, according to Air Force schedule, as it faced initial integration challenges such as wiring, she says
NOTE: First flight important to kick off flight testing and to confirm numerous modifications made to basic 767 airframe
“As soon as they get that airplane in the air” Boeing can expand flight test parameters, she says
“Before you make a decision to go into production” in Aug. 2015, “you want to be through a good portion of that flight test” to “be comfortable that you don’t have to make any major changes to the aircraft,” she says
NOTE: Boeing is revising its master schedule for developing the new U.S. Air Force aerial tanker, adding to uncertainty about a plane that already has run up est. $1b in excess costs for the contractor

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