Wed, Nov 01, 2006
Wants USAF To Buy Its Tanker
The Boeing Aircraft company practically invented the air-to-air
refueling tanker, and it has announced a successful test of its
The wide-body KC-767 transferred fuel for the first time last
week to a simulated aircraft receiver installed on several
ground-based trucks. Boeing reports fuel flow, delivery, and
surge pressure were all within specs. The telescoping boom has also
been separately flight tested over 400 hours and is said to be more
responsive for the operator. It also should be more reliable
because it uses 2,600 fewer parts than previous models and can
transfer 900 gallons of fly-juice a minute.
"The KC-767 aerial refueling systems exceeded our expectations
during these initial ground tests, and we are on track to deliver
fuel to various aircraft receivers during flight in the near
future," said Mark McGraw, Boeing vice president for Tanker
Programs. "The tests also show future customers, like the U.S. Air
Force, that Boeing will deliver a proven boom and refueling system
for their KC-X Tanker."
The company is already building tankers for the air forces of
Japan and Italy. and is in a competition with Airbus to build the
US Air Force's next generation tanker aircraft.
Having built nearly 2,000 tankers in its history
-- starting with the piston-powered KB-29, KB-50 and KC-97,
and then its highly successful jet KC-135 -- Boeing hopes its vast
experience passing gas will give it an edge.
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