October 17, 2012 - Boeing this week begins
assembling the first refueling boom for the U.S.
Air Force's next-generation aerial refueling
tanker aircraft in the KC-46 Boom Assembly
Center that opened on Tuesday at Boeing Field in
Maureen Dougherty, KC-46 vice president and
program manager for Boeing said "We're pleased
that this facility opened on schedule. The
KC-46A will feature a modernized fly-by-wire
boom based on the proven system on the U.S. Air
Force's KC-10 tanker, which will give it
advanced refueling capabilities, allowing it to
refuel any fixed-wing receiver aircraft anytime
and on any mission."
Boom assembly marks the program's shift to
production from design activities. "It's a big
day for the KC-46 Tanker Program and the U.S.
Air Force," said Maj. Gen. John Thompson, U.S.
Air Force Tanker Program Executive Officer and
KC-46 Program Director. "Boeing continues to
make good progress toward delivering the KC-46
Tanker on schedule."
The first boom will enter testing during the
third quarter of 2013 at a System Integration
Lab (SIL), known as SIL 0. It is one of five
labs designed to reduce risk for avionics and
aerial refueling integration. Boeing invented
the air refueling boom and has been building,
upgrading and modifying them for more than 60