Back In The Air

Boeing’s 767-2C provisioned freighter—one of its four planned KC-46 aerial tanker test aircraft—was back in the air on July 29, a company spokesman said Thursday. The aircraft is starting “the next phase of airworthiness testing,” to include expansion of the flight envelope, such as speed and altitude, said Boeing spokesman Charles Ramey. The flight of over two hours was made out of the company’s Everett, Wash., facility, and the aircraft carried a non-functional refueling probe and wing pods. Three such flights were made in late May; the aircraft was down for ground tests since then. The spokesman said there is no firm date yet for the first flight of the all-up KC-46 prototype, referred to by Boeing as EMD2. “Whenever the plane is ready, we’ll fly,” he said. Boeing and the Air Force have previously suggested an EMD2 first flight in the August-September timeframe.