Tag Archives: Boeing

Maiden flight

The Boeing and U.S. Air Force team successfully completed the first flight of a KC-46A tanker aircraft on September 25, taking off from Paine Field at 1:24 p.m. (PST) and landing four hours later at Boeing Field in Seattle. This was the first flight of a KC-46A tanker-configured aircraft, following ongoing flights of the program’s first test aircraft, a 767-2C. During the flight, Boeing test pilots performed operational checks on engines, flight controls and environmental systems and took the tanker to a maximum altitude of 35,000 feet/10,668 meter prior to landing.

The Boeing-built KC-46A Pegasus tanker takes off on its first flight, from Paine Field, Everett, Washington to Boeing Field, Seattle. The KC-46A is a multirole tanker Boeing is building for the U.S. Air Force that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients (Boeing photo)
The Boeing-built KC-46A Pegasus tanker takes off on its first flight, from Paine Field, Everett, Washington to Boeing Field, Seattle. The KC-46A is a multirole tanker Boeing is building for the U.S. Air Force that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients (Boeing photo)

«This first tanker flight is a key milestone for the program and we’ll now begin free air stability tests and flight controls of the boom and Wing Aerial Refueling Pods (WARPs) before conducting aerial refueling tests where the KC-46 will make contact with other military aircraft down the road», said Colonel Christopher Coombs, U.S. Air Force KC-46 Pegasus System program manager.

«Today’s flight reinforces that we are moving in the right direction and are on track to begin planned Milestone C testing later this year», said Tim Peters, Boeing KC-46 Pegasus tanker vice president and program manager. «This is an aerospace industry first and the culmination of a lot of hard work by the team, including Boeing, our suppliers and the U.S. Air Force».

The Boeing team now will conduct a post-flight inspection and calibrate instrumentation prior to the next series of flights, during which the tanker boom and WARPs systems will be deployed. Before the end of the year, the KC-46 Pegasus will begin conducting aerial refueling flights with a number of U.S. Air Force aircraft. Those flights, along with the mission systems demonstrations and a recently completed ground cargo-handling test, will support the planned Milestone C decision in 2016.

As part of a contract awarded in 2011 to design and develop the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation tanker aircraft, Boeing is building four test aircraft – two are currently configured as 767-2Cs and two KC-46A tankers. The KC-46s will fly as fully equipped tankers through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and military certification process, while the 767-2Cs enter flight test prior to receiving their upgrade to the KC-46A Pegasus configuration and the addition of their aerial refueling systems.

The program’s first test aircraft (EMD-1), a 767-2C, has completed more than 150 flight test hours to date since making its first flight in December 2014.

The KC-46A is a multirole tanker Boeing is building for the U.S. Air Force that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients. Overall, Boeing plans to build 179 KC-46 Pegasus aircraft for the U.S. Air Force.

The Boeing-built KC-46A Pegasus tanker lands after its first flight, from Paine Field, Everett, Washington to Boeing Field, Seattle. September 25, 2015 (Boeing photo)
The Boeing-built KC-46A Pegasus tanker lands after its first flight, from Paine Field, Everett, Washington to Boeing Field, Seattle. September 25, 2015 (Boeing photo)

 

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
The Boeing-built KC-46A Pegasus tanker at Boeing Field, Seattle, after its first flight. September 25, 2015 (Boeing photo)
The Boeing-built KC-46A Pegasus tanker at Boeing Field, Seattle, after its first flight. September 25, 2015 (Boeing photo)

 

The thrill has since passed since the first KC-46 Pegasus prototype departed Paine Field nearly a year ago. Now the first fully militarized KC-46A Pegasus, which will be conducting aerial refueling test with F-16,’s over the Puget Sound departs on its first test flight on September 25, 2015

 

First All-Electric

The world’s first all-electric propulsion satellite, built by Boeing for Bermuda-based ABS, is now operational after an on-orbit handover on August 31. The ABS-3A, a 702SP (small platform) satellite, expands ABS’ communications services in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

An artists' rendering of ABS-3A on-orbit and operating in space (Boeing photo)
An artists’ rendering of ABS-3A on-orbit and operating in space (Boeing photo)

«The operational ABS-3A satellite and ABS-2A, launching in early 2016, will further strengthen and solidify our global expansion and offer flexible capacity to our growing fleet», said Tom Choi, CEO of ABS. «We believe Boeing’s innovative portfolio can help us to affordably grow now and in the future».

The ABS-3A spacecraft was the world’s first all-electric propulsion satellite to be built and launched – part of a stacked pair launched in March with a 702SP satellite built for Eutelsat, based in Paris. The spacecraft’s all-electric xenon-ion propulsion system contains a sufficient quantity of the inert, non-hazardous element xenon to extend the satellite’s operations beyond the expected spacecraft design life of 15 years.

«With a successful launch, testing and execution of orbit operations, we were able to deliver the first 702SP to ABS about one month earlier than planned», said Mark Spiwak, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International. «The 702SP product line was designed to bring the latest technology into the hands of customers seeking adaptable and affordable solutions. In addition, the 702SP’s patented dual-launch capability helps customers share launch costs, which can significantly lower overall expenses for a satellite owner».

Boeing is under contract to build a second 702SP satellite for ABS, designated ABS-2A, which will be delivered and launched early next year.

 

Ahead of Schedule

Boeing delivered the seventh CH-47F Chinook to the Australian Army on budget August 10th, three weeks ahead of schedule, supporting modernization of Australia’s cargo helicopter fleet and eventually replacing the Commonwealth’s six older CH-47D Chinooks. The seven advanced Chinooks were ordered as part of a U.S. Government Foreign Military Sales agreement with Australia in 2012.

Boeing Service Engineering teams prepped and loaded the CH-47F into a C-5 Galaxy transport at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, for delivery to Townsville, Queensland Australia (Boeing photo)
Boeing Service Engineering teams prepped and loaded the CH-47F into a C-5 Galaxy transport at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, for delivery to Townsville, Queensland Australia (Boeing photo)

«Boeing is committed to meeting our customers’ needs anywhere in the world with the right capability, delivered on time and cost», said Steve Parker, vice president, Cargo Helicopters and H-47 program manager. «These early deliveries demonstrate that commitment».

Australia has one of the most advanced and highly capable Chinook fleets in the world. Major developments on the CH-47F include a digital cockpit, an advanced communications system and new avionics. Those allow the Australian Army to operate more effectively with U.S. and international forces through the easy exchange of digital maps that facilitate coordinated responses for military and humanitarian missions. The Australian Chinook configuration also includes a new rotor brake that enables shipboard operations by actively stopping the rotor blades rather than allowing the blades to naturally «spin down» once the engine is turned off after landing.

«Our CH-47D Chinooks have been real workhorses for Australia, both here and on operations overseas, and our new CH-47F Chinooks are set to be even more dependable, affordable and capable assets», said Rear Admiral Tony Dalton of Australia’s Department of Defence. «We are very pleased with how Boeing and the United States Army have worked together to deliver this important capability to Australia ahead of schedule and on budget».

The Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment, 16th Aviation Brigade, operates the Chinooks from their home base in northern Queensland, Australia. Boeing Defence Australia will provide on-site operational maintenance support for the CH-47F aircraft, having supported the CH-47D since 2010.

Australia’s partnership with Boeing began nearly 90 years ago. Today, the country is building one of the world’s newest and most technologically advanced armed forces with a range of Boeing platforms and services including the Chinook, EA-18G Growler, P-8A Maritime Surveillance Aircraft, F/A-18 Super Hornet, E-7 Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control System, C-17 Globemaster III and training and logistics solutions.

Boeing has delivered the first two of seven CH-47F Chinooks to the Australian Army at a ceremony in Queensland. The remaining aircraft will be delivered throughout 2015 (Boeing photo)
Boeing has delivered the first two of seven CH-47F Chinooks to the Australian Army at a ceremony in Queensland. The remaining aircraft will be delivered throughout 2015 (Boeing photo)

 

Technical Specifications

Rotor Diameter 18.29 m/60 feet
Length with Rotors Operating 30.14 m/98 feet, 10.7 inch
Fuselage 15.46 m/50 feet, 9 inch
Height 5.68 m/18 feet, 7.8 inch
Fuselage Width 3.78 m/12 feet, 5 inch
Fuel Capacity 20,411 kg/45,000 lbs
Maximum Gross Takeoff 36,700 kg/81,000 lbs
Maximum Gross Weight 22,680 kg/50,000 lbs
Useful Load 10,886 kg/24,000 lbs
Maximum Speed 170 KTAS/196 mph/302 km/h
Cruise Speed 157 KTAS/181 mph/291 km/h
Service Ceiling 6,096 m/20,000 feet
Mission Radius 200 NM/370.4 km
The Chinook is a true multi-role, vertical-lift platform. Its primary mission is transport of troops, artillery, equipment, and fuel
The Chinook is a true multi-role, vertical-lift platform. Its primary mission is transport of troops, artillery, equipment, and fuel

Submarine-killer

Boeing will provide the first P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft for Australia and additional P-8As for the U.S. Navy following a $1.49 billion contract award from the Navy for 13 aircraft. The order includes nine aircraft for the U.S. Navy and four Poseidon aircrafts for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), a long-time partner to the U.S. Navy on P-8A development.

Boeing took its Next-Generation 737-800 and adapted it for the United States Navy P-8A and its variant for India the P-8I
Boeing took its Next-Generation 737-800 and adapted it for the United States Navy P-8A and its variant for India the P-8I

«By working together since the early stages of P-8A development, the U.S. and Australia have created one airplane configuration that serves the needs of both countries», said Captain Scott Dillon, U.S. Navy P-8 program manager. «The U.S. and Australian P-8As will be able to operate with each other effectively and affordably for decades to come».

This latest award puts Boeing on contract to build the Navy’s second lot of full-rate production aircraft, bringing the U.S. Navy’s fleet total to 62 P-8As. Boeing has delivered 28 Poseidon aircrafts to date.

«Delivering premier aircraft on schedule and on cost has become a hallmark of the P-8 program», said James Dodd, Boeing vice president and general manager of Mobility, Surveillance and Engagement. «We look forward to building on Boeing’s long-standing relationship with Australia by providing the quality, value and capability of the P-8A».

Based on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737-800 commercial airplane, the P-8A offers the worlds’ most advanced Anti-Submarine (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. The U.S. Navy has deployed the first two P-8A patrol squadrons since operations started in 2013.

Australia’s participation in the P-8 program began in 2009 when the government signed the first in a series of memorandums of understanding to work with the U.S. Navy on system design and development. The U.S. Navy and the RAAF also established a joint program office that operates at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

Production of the first Australian P-8A will begin later this year, with delivery to the RAAF scheduled for 2016. Boeing will also provide the RAAF with a complete training system for the P-8A, using simulators to train pilots and mission crews to operate the aircraft, its sensors, communications and weapons systems without relying on costly live flights.

P-8 has twice the sonobuoy processing capability and can carry 30 percent more sonobuoys than any maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft currently flying
P-8 has twice the sonobuoy processing capability and can carry 30 percent more sonobuoys than any maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft currently flying

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines; 27,000 lbs/12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs/85,820 kg
P-8 has the ability to control unmanned air vehicles (level 2 control-receive) to extend sensor reach
P-8 has the ability to control unmanned air vehicles (level 2 control-receive) to extend sensor reach

Inmarsat Global Xpress

When the third Boeing-built Inmarsat-5 satellite, which is now in orbit, becomes fully operational later this year, it will provide the technology and coverage necessary for worldwide high-speed broadband access.

The Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite launched Friday aboard an International Launch Services (ILS) Proton Breeze M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan (ILS Photo)
The Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite launched Friday aboard an International Launch Services (ILS) Proton Breeze M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan (ILS Photo)

Inmarsat-5 F3 sent signals from space following its launch on August 28, on an International Launch Services Proton Breeze M launch vehicle. After reaching final orbit, the spacecraft will undergo testing and checkout before becoming operational.

«The Inmarsat Global Xpress network will be the first high-speed Ka-band broadband network to span the world», said Rupert Pearce, CEO, Inmarsat. «New technology and engineering design will allow us to steer capacity where it’s needed most and adjust to shifting subscriber usage patterns and evolving demographics over the minimum 15-year life span of the network. We can now look forward to the introduction of global GX commercial services by the end of this year».

Each of the three Inmarsat-5 satellites use fixed narrow spot beams to deliver higher speeds through more compact terminals. Steerable beams direct additional capacity in real-time to where it’s needed to provide seamless, global broadband communications coverage to Inmarsat users worldwide on land, at sea, and in the air. The first two Inmarsat-5 Global Xpress satellites were launched December 2013 and February 2015, respectively. A fourth Boeing-built Inmarsat-5 (F4) is scheduled for delivery in mid-2016.

«The 702HP (high power) satellite is ideally suited for delivering the advanced capabilities Inmarsat required for this mission», said Mark Spiwak, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International. «More than 20 of these 702HP spacecraft are in orbit now for customers, including Inmarsat, providing reliable, affordable and innovative service».

Boeing has a strategic marketing partnership with Inmarsat and currently provides both military Ka-band and commercial Global Xpress services to U.S. government customers. Boeing recently concluded an extensive demonstration program for ten U.S. government customer communities using the Inmarsat-5 F2 spacecraft.

First Growler

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) received on July 30 its first EA-18G Growler. Prime contractor Boeing and the U.S Navy formally presented the aircraft to the RAAF at a ceremony in St. Louis in the United States. Former Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown (ret’d), who represented the RAAF at the ceremony, confirmed that Australia would be the first nation outside the United States to fly the airborne electronic attack platform.

Boeing unveils first Royal Australian Air Force EA-18G Growler at a rollout ceremony July 29 in St. Louis, Missouri
Boeing unveils first Royal Australian Air Force EA-18G Growler at a rollout ceremony July 29 in St. Louis, Missouri

«The Growlers will complement our existing and future air combat capability, and ours will be a much more lethal force with this advanced technology», Air Marshal Brown said. «In many respects, it’s the final piece of the air power jigsaw puzzle for the RAAF, and my prediction is it will have one of the biggest strategic effects for the Australian Defence Force since the introduction of the F-111 in the 1970s».

A derivative of the F/A-18F Super Hornet, the EA-18G Growler is the only aircraft in production providing tactical jamming and electronic protection. The Growler will enhance Air Force’s current fleet of 24 Super Hornets and future fleet of F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF), and advances «Plan Jericho», the initiative to transform the Air Force into an integrated, networked force able to deliver air power in all operating environments. Growler will also be a key enabler for both maritime and land forces.

The first aircraft to be delivered, A46-301, made its first flight on July 13 but was formally presented in front of RAAF and U.S. Navy representatives, Boeing employees and the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon. «The aircraft will now fly to Naval Air Station China Lake, California, for flight testing and then Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington State, where RAAF operators will continue training with U.S. Navy aircrew to gain expertise in the highly technical electronic warfare mission», Air Marshal Brown said.

The second RAAF Growler has also made its first flight, while the following 10 aircraft are in various stages of assembly at Boeing’s St. Louis plant. On current plans, all 12 aircraft will arrive in Australia by the end of 2017.

The Royal Australia Air Force’s first Growler demonstrates capabilities in its first flight demonstration
The Royal Australia Air Force’s first Growler demonstrates capabilities in its first flight demonstration

 

Technical Specifications

Length 60.2 feet/18.3 m
Height 16 feet/4.9 m
Wing Span 44.9 feet/13.7 m
Weight Empty 33,094 lbs/15,011.2 kg
Recovery Weight 48,000 lbs/21,772.4 kg
Internal Fuel 13,940 lbs/6,323.1 kg
Maximum External Fuel 9,744 lbs/4,419.8 kg
Engines 2 × F414-GE-400
Thrust 44,000 lbs/19,958 kgf/195.72 kN
Spot Factor 1.23
Crew One Pilot, one Weapon Systems Officer

 

Fastest delivery

The seventh C-17A Globemaster III aircraft arrived in Australia at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley on July 29, marking the fastest C-17A delivery in Australian fleet. Minister for Defence Kevin Andrews said the rapid acquisition of the aircraft is a testament to the close relationship that exists between Australia and the United States.

Arrival of the seventh Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III at RAAF Base Amberley
Arrival of the seventh Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III at RAAF Base Amberley

«The active involvement of a number of United States and Australian agencies has been pivotal in meeting the successful delivery of this aircraft and I applaud everyone involved in the acquisition program», Minister Andrews said. «This acquisition signifies considerable work opportunities for the local industry, with $300 million being spent to upgrade facilities. With its proven ability to transport heavy equipment, vehicles and helicopters in a short time frame, the C-17A’s capabilities are vital to Australia’s national security and safety».

Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies, AO, CSC said the acquisition of two additional C-17A aircraft will increase the Australian Defence Force’s capacity to provide vital community and humanitarian assistance.

«The C-17A fleet has been integral to recent operations including the rapid deployment of Australian forces in support of the Iraq Government, assistance in the Queensland floods, and the recovery of MH17 victims from Eastern Ukraine», Air Marshal Davies said.

«This latest acquisition will bolster our existing fleet of strategic lift aircraft – providing vital heavy airlift support to a range of operations, and increase our capacity to provide swift disaster relief and humanitarian assistance at home and abroad. Under Plan Jericho, the Air Force is dedicated to developing a networked, future joint force that can respond across the spectrum – from combat to humanitarian support. An additional two C-17A aircraft will help us achieve that», Air Marshal Davies said.

The Government announced the acquisition of two additional C-17A aircraft in April 2015 representing a $1 billion investment in Australia’s security and Defence Force. The eighth C-17A is planned to arrive in Australia in late 2015.

On 29 July 2015, the seventh C-17A Globemaster III for the Royal Australian Air Force touched down at RAAF Base Amberley on its delivery flight to Australia
On 29 July 2015, the seventh C-17A Globemaster III for the Royal Australian Air Force touched down at RAAF Base Amberley on its delivery flight to Australia

 

Technical Specifications

 

External dimensions

Wingspan to winglet tip 169.8 ft/51.74 m
Length 174 ft/53.04 m
Height at tail 55.1 ft/16.79 m
Fuselage diameter 22.5 ft/6.86 m

 

Cargo compartment

Cargo compartment crew One loadmaster
Cargo floor length 68.2 ft/20.78 m
Ramp length 21.4 ft/6.52 m structural length
Loadable width 18 ft/5.49 m
Loadable height (under wing) 12.3 ft/3.76 m
Loadable height (aft of wing) 14.8 ft/4.50 m
Ramp to ground angle 9 degrees
Ramp capacity 40,000 lbs/18,144 kg
Aerial delivery system capacity
Pallets Eleven 463L(*) pallets (including 2 on ramp)
Single load airdrop 60,000 lbs/27,216 kg platform
Sequential loads airdrop 110,000 lbs/49,895 kg (60 ft/18.29 m of platforms)
Logistic rail system capacity Eighteen 463L(*) pallets (including 4 on ramp)
Dual-row airdrop system Up to eight 18 foot/5.49 m platforms or twelve 463L(*) pallets
Combat offload All pallets from ADS (Alternative Distribution Systems) or logistic rail systems

(*) Each 463L pallet is 88 in/2.24 m wide, 108 in/2.74 m long and 2-1/4 in/0.57 m high. The usable space is 84 in/2.13 m by 104 in/2.64 m. It can hold up to 10,000 lbs/4,500 kg of cargo (not exceeding 250 lbs/113 kg per square inch) at 8 g. Empty, each pallet weighs 290 lbs/130 kg, or 355 lbs/160 kg with two side nets and a top net.

 

Seating

Sidewall (permanently installed) 54 (27 each side, 18 in/45.72 cm wide, 24 in/60.96 cm spacing center to center)
Centerline (stored on board) 48 (in sets of six back-to-back, 8 sets)
Palletized (10-passenger pallets) 80 on 8 pallets, plus 54 passengers on sidewall seats

 

Aeromedical evacuation

Litter stations (onboard) Three (3 litters each)
Litter stations (additional kit) Nine
Total capability (contingency) 36 litters and 54 ambulatory
The aircraft, serial A41-213, will join a fleet of C-17As operated by No. 36 Squadron, providing a strategic airlift capability for Australia, as well as tactical roles such as airdrop
The aircraft, serial A41-213, will join a fleet of C-17As operated by No. 36 Squadron, providing a strategic airlift capability for Australia, as well as tactical roles such as airdrop

 

Cockpit

Flight crew 2 pilots
Observer positions 2
Instrument displays 2 full-time all-function Head-Up Displays (HUD), 4 multi-function active matrix liquid crystal displays
Navigation system Digital electronics
Communication Integrated radio management system with Communications Open System Architecture (COSA)
Flight controls system Quadruple-redundant electronic flight control with mechanical backup system

 

Wing

Area 3,800 ft2/353.03 m2
Aspect Radio 7.165
Wing sweep angle 25 degrees
Airfoil type Supercritical
Flaps Fixed-vane, double-slotted, simple-hinged

 

Winglet

Height 8.92 ft/2.72 m
Span 9.21 ft/2.81 m
Area 35.85 ft2/3.33 m2
Sweep 30 degrees
Angle 15 degrees from vertical

 

Horizontal tail

Area 845 ft2/78.50 m2
Span 65 ft/19.81 m
Aspect ratio 5.0
Sweep 27 degrees

 

Landing gear

Main, type Triple Tandem
Width (outside to outside) 33.7 ft/10.26 m
Tires 50×21-20
Nose, type Single strut, steerable with dual wheels
Tires 40×16-14
Wheelbase 65.8 ft/20.06 m

 

Engine Specifications

Thrust 40,440 lbs/179.9 kN/18,345 kgf
Weight 7,100 lbs/3,220 kg
Length 146.8 in/3.73 m
Inlet diameter 78.5 in/1.99 m
Maximum diameter 84.5 in/2.15 m
Bypass ratio 5.9 to 1
Overall pressure ratio 30.8 to 1
An eighth C-17A will be delivered to Australia by late 2015
An eighth C-17A will be delivered to Australia by late 2015

Modernization for GPS

The 10th Boeing GPS IIF satellite has reached orbit and sent its first signals after being launched on July 15, 2015. This satellite advances the U.S. Air Force’s modernization program for GPS, improving accuracy and enhancing security for the navigation system used by millions of people around the world every day.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V blasts off from Cape Canaveral with the GPS IIF-10 mission for the U.S. Air Force (United Launch Alliance photo)
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V blasts off from Cape Canaveral with the GPS IIF-10 mission for the U.S. Air Force (United Launch Alliance photo)

The Boeing-built GPS IIFs are the newest generation of GPS satellites, delivering a longer design life, greater accuracy, increased signal power for civil applications, a more robust military M-code signal and variable power for better jamming resistance. The IIFs also are outfitted with the new civilian L-5 signal, which, when fully operational, will be used for emergency applications.

«The GPS IIF-10 launch milestone continues a series of recent unparalleled successes for the GPS IIF program», said Dan Hart, vice president, Boeing Government Space Systems. «We understand the importance of this system to the global community, both civil and military, and the government-Boeing team is partnering to assure mission success and operational excellence».

GPS IIF-10 lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V expendable launch vehicle at 11:36 a.m. EDT. About three hours and 23 minutes later, the spacecraft was released into its medium earth orbit of about 12,000 miles/19,312.1 km.

Boeing will support the U.S. Air Force in performing on-orbit checkout of GPS IIF-10 before it is formally declared operational in about one month. The next GPS satellite, GPS IIF-11, was shipped to Cape Canaveral on June 8 in preparation for the third and final IIF launch of 2015 later this fall.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Defense, Space & Security is a $31 billion business with 53,000 employees worldwide.

 

As the number of GPS devices increases globally, so does our dependence on GPS, but satellites wear out.  Bringing innovations from their airplane assembly lines to GPS production, Boeing is helping to make GPS service available wherever, whenever you need it

Five MV-22s in Japan

Bell Boeing, a strategic alliance between Bell Helicopter, a Textron company, and Boeing, was awarded a U.S. Navy contract for five Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to be delivered to Japan, marking the first sale of the aircraft through the U.S. government’s foreign military sales program. The contract for the Block C aircraft (the first five of up to 17 MV-22 Ospreys) includes support, training, and equipment. The versatile V-22 tiltrotor will allow Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force greatly enhanced capabilities, while providing an ideal platform for relief efforts in response to natural disasters.

U.S. Marines inspect an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft after landing on the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH-181) during amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz 2014
U.S. Marines inspect an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft after landing on the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH-181) during amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz 2014

«The Bell Boeing team is honored to have Japan as the first international customer for the V-22 tiltrotor», said Mitch Snyder, executive vice president of Military Business for Bell Helicopter. «The distinct performance envelope of the V-22 will provide Japan with an ideal solution when the need arises. When assets are required on-target in a location without an airstrip, the self-deployable Osprey provides customers with an unrivaled combination of speed, range, and payload to execute a variety of missions».

The V-22 is currently in service with the United States Marine Corps (MV-22) and the United States Air Force Special Operations Command (СМ-22). This year, the United States Navy announced their decision to procure 44 V-22 aircraft.

At twice the speed of a helicopter, the Osprey carries 24 combat troops, or up to 20,000 pounds/9,072 kg of internal cargo or 15,000 pounds/6,804 kg of external cargo. Its cargo bay can accommodate nine litters with medical personnel and equipment
At twice the speed of a helicopter, the Osprey carries 24 combat troops, or up to 20,000 pounds/9,072 kg of internal cargo or 15,000 pounds/6,804 kg of external cargo. Its cargo bay can accommodate nine litters with medical personnel and equipment

«This is an important day for the Bell Boeing team in Japan and for the U.S.-Japan Alliance», said Shelley Lavender, president of Boeing Military Aircraft. «The V-22 redefines what’s operationally possible for a country, and we’re looking forward to delivering this capability to Japan as we continue our enduring partnership there».

The Osprey’s mission capabilities include troop transport, disaster relief, personnel recovery, medical evacuation, logistics support, and executive transport.

Under the current program of record, the U.S. Marine Corps will purchase 360 MV-22s for missions including amphibious assault, ship-to-objective maneuvers and sustained operations ashore
Under the current program of record, the U.S. Marine Corps will purchase 360 MV-22s for missions including amphibious assault, ship-to-objective maneuvers and sustained operations ashore

 

General Characteristics

Dimensions
Length Fuselage: 57.3 feet/17.46 m
Stowed: 63.0 feet/19.20 m
Width Rotors turning: 84.6 feet/25.78 m
Stowed: 18.4 feet/5.61 m
Height Nacelles vertical: 22.1 feet/6.73 m
Stabilizer: 17.9 feet/5.46 m
Rotor Diameter 38.1 feet/11.6 m
Performance @ 47,000 lbs/21,318.8 kg
Maximum Cruise Speed, Sea Level (SL) 270 knots/311 mph/500 km/h
Maximum Rate of Climb (RC), A/P mode SL 4,100 feet per minute/1,250 m/min
Service Ceiling, ISA* 24,000 feet/7,315 m
OEI** Service Ceiling, ISA* 9,500 feet/2,896 m
HOGE*** Ceiling, ISA* 5,700 feet/1,737 m
Mission Radius 428 NM/492 miles/793 km – MV-22 Block C with 24 troops, ramp mounted weapon system, SL STD, 20 min loiter time
Weights
Take-Off, Vertical, Maximum 52,600 lbs/23,859 kg
Take-Off, Short, Maximum 57,000 lbs/25,855 kg
Take-Off, Self-Deploy 60,500 lbs/27,443 kg
Cargo Hook, Single 10,000 lbs/4,536 kg
Cargo Hook, Dual Capability 12,500 lbs/5,670 kg
Fuel Capacity
MV-22 1,721 Gal/6,513 L
CV-22 2025 Gal/7,667 L
Engines
Model AE1107C (Rolls-Royce Liberty)
AEO**** VTOL***** normal power 6,150 shp/4,586 kW
Crew
Cockpit – crew seats 2 MV-22/3 CV-22
Cabin – crew seat/troop seats 1/24

* International Standard Atmosphere

** One Engine Inoperative

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

**** All Engines Operating

***** Vertical Take-Off and Landing

The U.S. Navy is also slated to get 48 MV-22s, which could be used for fleet logistic support and search and rescue
The U.S. Navy is also slated to get 48 MV-22s, which could be used for fleet logistic support and search and rescue

The Air Force Special Operations Command acquired 50 CV-22 variants, with enhanced capabilities tailored for their unique mission requirements. The CV-22 reached initial operational capability in 2009, while the Marines’ variant deployed in late 2007

Initial Flight Tests

According to Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times correspondent, Boeing concluded the first phase of airworthiness testing of its 767 tanker prototype on June 2, 2015. This time the plane even looked like a real KC-46 tanker, though it is not quite there yet. This first prototype plane is testing the airframe and how it flies. The second test plane, which will be a real KC-46 tanker outfitted with working aerial-refueling systems, is to fly in summer.

Boeing said its Air Force tanker prototype completed a 4.3-hour flight on June 2, 2015, with a refueling boom and wing refueling pods installed, although that equipment was not functional (By: John D. Parker/John D. Parker/Boeing)
Boeing said its Air Force tanker prototype completed a 4.3-hour flight on June 2, 2015, with a refueling boom and wing refueling pods installed, although that equipment was not functional (By: John D. Parker/John D. Parker/Boeing)

On Tuesday’s flight, the Boeing KC-46 tanker prototype for the first time carried a refueling boom, a rigid tube extended back from the plane’s underside that is used to pass fuel to an aircraft flying behind and below the tanker. The prototype was also fitted with wing-refueling pods, which are used to refuel aircraft with different in-flight fuel-docking systems that fly behind and to the side of the tanker.

This equipment was not wired up and was not functional. However, the flight provided data on how these external attachments affect the jet’s behavior.

After the prototype’s maiden flight in December 2014, Boeing worked on the plane for five full months before it flew again. Then it flew three test flights on successive days last week. Tuesday’s flight lasted 4.3 hours and went well, said tanker spokesperson Chick Ramey.

Boeing has a contract to deliver to the U.S. Air Force the first 18 operational KC-46 tankers in 2017. The Air Force plans to buy a total 179 tankers under a $49 billion contract.

This first test plane will now enter planned ground testing, including Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification testing of the fuel systems. After that, it will return to the air for the next phase of airworthiness testing, which will push the limits of speed and altitude and support follow-on testing. The final two test airplanes in the flight-test program are expected to fly by the end of the year, Ramey said.

The KC-46 program office requested the warhead be custom-designed by the Weapons Division to evaluate the highest threat scenario possible (U.S. Navy photo)
The KC-46 program office requested the warhead be custom-designed by the Weapons Division to evaluate the highest threat scenario possible (U.S. Navy photo)

Moreover, it is said in the Defense-aerospace.com that the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) successfully supported the Boeing KC-46 tanker with the most detailed, advanced weapons survivability test series ever conducted at the Weapons Survivability Lab (WSL), China Lake, California on April 7.

«Excellent tests», said KC-46 lead engineer Scott Wacker, weapons survivability expert. «These have never been done before, so I’m happy to say that we met all our objectives. I believe that we are advancing the state of the art in understanding vulnerability in aircraft». (Source: US Naval Air Systems Command)

The tests, outlined by the KC-46 Live Fire Test and Evaluation Program (LFT&E), will be used to assess KC-46, system-level survivability in high fidelity, operational environments against ballistic and advanced threats. The results provided a wide range of data instrumental in mitigating worst-case scenarios for the aircraft, which directly improves and preserves warfighting capability. «There were over 330 channels collecting raw data, 10 high speed cameras recording 10,000 to 100,000 frames per second and 30 real time video feeds», said Eric Brickson, KC-46 LFT&E engineer. «We had a very extensive list of requirements and NAWCWD met them all».

Representatives from NAWCWD, Boeing, the U.S. Air Force and the Institute for Defense Analysis were among several of the organizations and stakeholders present to witness the event at the WSL. «It was a very successful test», said Col. Chris Coombs, Air Force. «We designed these tests against the aircraft to see how it would perform, so we’d know if the people, whether they are pilots, operators or passengers, could survive on this plane under the most relevant of circumstances».

According to the KC-46 Program Office, plans call for the procurement of 179 KC-46s to replace one third of the existing aerial refueling fleet.

The KC-46A is intended to replace the United States Air Force's aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers and provides vital air refueling capability for the United States Air Force
The KC-46A is intended to replace the United States Air Force’s aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers and provides vital air refueling capability for the United States Air Force

 

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 meters)

Length:                                                     165 feet, 6 inches (50.5 meters)

Height:                                                     52 feet, 10 inches (15.9 meters)

Maximum Takeoff Weight:         415,000 pounds (188,240 kilograms)

Maximum Landing Weight:         310,000 pounds (140,614 kilograms)

Fuel Capacity:                                     212,299 pounds (96,297 kilograms)

Maximum Transfer Fuel Load:  207,672 pounds (94,198 kilograms)

Maximum Cargo Capacity:         65,000 pounds (29,484 kilograms)

Maximum Airspeed:                     360 KCAS/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h

Service Ceiling:                                  43,100 feet/13,137 m

Maximum Distance:                        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

Boeing KC-46 Pegasus
Boeing KC-46 Pegasus