FAA grants amended certification to Boeing's KC-46 TankerNews
December 22, 2017
EVERETT, Wash. Officials at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Boeing?s KC-46 tanker program an Amended Type Certificate (ATC) for its core 767-2C aircraft configuration, verifying that the fundamental design of the KC-46 tanker is safe and reliable.
The 767-2C is a modified version of the company’s commercial 767 with revised structure, wiring, and plumbing, Boeing explains.
Boeing’s team, which included Commercial Airplanes and Defense, Space & Security personnel, completed a series of analyses and lab, ground, and flight tests that focused on the aircraft’s fundamental capabilities including avionics, auto-flight and environmental control systems, as well as its new fuel system. The resulting data validated that all systems operated as intended resulting with the FAA granting the certification.
The ATC is one of two FAA airworthiness certifications required for the KC-46 program. A combined Boeing/Air Force team has been concurrently completing Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) work, which encompasses the military systems that are installed on the 767-2C to make it a tanker.
“We continue to make good progress on the STC effort – 83 percent complete at present – and have moved into the FAA flight-testing phase,” Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager, says.
The program has six aircraft that have supported various segments of ATC and STC testing. Overall they have completed 2,200 flight hours as well as more than 1,600 “contacts” during refueling flights with F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17, A-10, KC-10 and KC-46 aircraft.
The KC-46 is built in the company’s Everett, Washington, facility. Boeing is currently on contract for the first 34 of an expected 179 tankers for the U.S. Air Force.
The KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo, and patients.