KC-46 Development Aircraft Visits Edwards

The KC-46A program’s first test aircraft arrived at Edwards AFB, Calif., Oct. 15, for two weeks of specialized trials, officials announced. The provisioned 767-2C, EMD-1, will undertake ground-effect characterization and fatigue testing in the fuel-receiver role. “For ground effects, Edwards … provides calm morning weather and long runways, including the lake beds, both are requirements to take the data,” Capt. Dylan Neidorff, KC-46 test operations engineer, said in a release. “For fuel on-load fatigue, Edwards has a top notch special instrumentation section [that] provides modifications to legacy tanker aircraft to support data collection on the 767-2C,” he added. Ground effect flights will aid in accurately replicating the KC-46’s characteristics in the flight simulator. For fueling checks, the aircraft’s durability will be put to the test receiving from both the KC-10 and KC-135. The first phase of developmental testing is largely conducted from Boeing’s production facilities in Washington, but will move to Edwards in 2016. The fully equipped KC-46A tanker flew for the first time in September, and extended its boom for the first time in flight earlier this month.