The first two Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aircraft departed Everett’s Paine Field this morning for McConnell Air Force Base (AFB), where the 22nd Air Refueling Wing (22 ARW) will be the first unit to have the world’s newest air refueling tankers.
McConnell, in Wichita, Kansas, will receive two more tankers in the weeks ahead. Then Oklahoma’s Altus Air Force Base will receive four planes to support aircrew training.
The Air Force will soon begin evaluating the Boeing KC-46’s systems in operationally realistic scenarios, which is required before the aircraft can be used in combat. It will also continue validating the Boeing KC-46’s refueling capabilities, with aircraft including the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit bomber, Lockheed C-5 Galaxy cargo plane, and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter. Prior testing involved the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bomber, Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane, and McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighters, among others.
|Primary Function||Aerial refueling and airlift|
|Prime Contractor||The Boeing Company|
|Power Plant||2 × Pratt & Whitney 4062|
|Thrust||62,000 lbs./275.790 kN/28,123 kgf – Thrust per High-Bypass engine (sea-level standard day)|
|Wingspan||157 feet, 8 inches/48.1 m|
|Length||165 feet, 6 inches/50.5 m|
|Height||52 feet, 10 inches/15.9 m|
|Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)||415,000 lbs./188,240 kg|
|Maximum Landing Weight||310,000 lbs./140,614 kg|
|Fuel Capacity||212,299 lbs./96,297 kg|
|Maximum Transfer Fuel Load||207,672 lbs./94,198 kg|
|Maximum Cargo Capacity||65,000 lbs./29,484 kg|
|Maximum Airspeed||360 KCAS (Knots Calibrated AirSpeed)/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h|
|Service Ceiling||43,100 feet/13,137 m|
|Maximum Distance||7,299 NM/8,400 miles/13,518 km|
|Pallet Positions||18 pallet positions|
|Air Crew||15 permanent seats for aircrew, including aeromedical evacuation aircrew|
|Passengers||58 total (normal operations); up to 114 total (contingency operations)|
|Aeromedical Evacuation||58 patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory) with the AE Patient Support Pallet configuration; 6 integral litters carried as part of normal aircraft configuration equipment|