Remaining Nameless for Now

The Air Force’s next tanker was slated to get a more familiar nickname around June 5, but that was the day the Air Force’s Secretary and Chief of Staff resigned suddenly, and “nothing has been done with it” since, a USAF spokeswoman said yesterday. The rumored top name for the new tanker is “Expeditor II,” which honors the Beech C-45 Expeditor of the World War II era. The nickname would seem to echo the KC-45A designation chosen for the new aircraft (see item above), but the original Expeditor was a relatively small transport specializing in light loads and small airfields, while the two KC-X contenders—Boeing’s KC-767 and Northrop Grumman’s KC-30—are based on widebody airliners.