First Two KC-46A

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.

The first two Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tankers departs Everett, Washington for McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. These aircraft, the first delivered by the program, will join the U.S. Air Force 22nd Air Refueling Wing (Boeing photo)
The first two Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tankers departs Everett, Washington for McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. These aircraft, the first delivered by the program, will join the U.S. Air Force 22nd Air Refueling Wing (Boeing photo)

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.

 

General Characteristics

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

 

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