The New Hampshire Air National Guard received its eighth and ninth KC-46 on Nov. 6, one of which was delayed for more than a month due to electrical issues.
The 157th Air Refueling Wing at Pease will receive 12 of the tankers. Pegasus No. 8 was originally expected to be delivered the week of Sept. 28, but the Defense Contract Management Agency discovered an electrical issue on the aircraft during a pre-acceptance inspection. Since Boeing did not have a tanker readily available to complete the inspection process, delivery was delayed until Nov. 6.
Boeing said at the time the issue was a poor electrical connection in the aircraft’s radar warning receiver that needed to be removed and reinstalled. While the part showed a fault in flight, it was not a design flaw and the aircraft was still safe to fly. The Air Force said the issue was specific to the individual aircraft, and was not a “systemic, fleet-wide” problem.
Separately, on Nov. 6 another KC-46 experienced another minor issue while taking off from Boeing Field south of Seattle. Crews on the ground saw “light smoke” coming from the plane’s right main landing gear. The aircraft landed shortly after at the company’s Paine Field in Everett, about 30 miles north, where no smoke or other problem was “noted on landing,” Boeing said in a statement. During post-flight inspection, crews noticed excessive grease on the aircraft’s main landing gear, which was likely the cause.
That KC-46 was a Boeing test and evaluation aircraft that was ferried to the production aircraft inventory in Everett via a special flight permit, according to the company.