Enhanced Boeing KC-46 tanker trailer unveiled
Boeing today unveiled its updated KC-46 Aerial Refueling Trailer at Rodeo 2011, a US Air Force and Air Mobility Command readiness competition at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The trailer showcases the state-of-the art technologies Boeing is incorporating into the new KC-46 tanker fleet. It traveled throughout the United States prior to Boeing's win of the contract to replace the Air Force's aerial refueling tankers.
"We've updated the KC-46 tanker trailer to reflect the latest KC-46 system configuration, enhancing the experience for visitors," said Maureen Dougherty, Boeing vice president and KC-46 Tanker program manager. "Rodeo presents an exciting opportunity to highlight the next generation of tanker capability, efficiency and affordability to the ‛best of the best' Air Force personnel selected to participate in this year's event."
The trailer is 53 feet long and weighs 40,000 pounds. It features an upgraded Flight Deck Demonstrator and Aerial Refueling Operator Station, giving visitors the opportunity to experience what it's like to fly the new tanker and conduct refueling operations with a variety of aircraft. The trailer also showcases an interactive display of Boeing's past, present and future tanker solutions, as well as cutaway models of the new tanker's multi-role configurations.
"Visitors will see that the KC-46 will be equipped with the most advanced technology," Dougherty added, "and that it will meet or exceed the Air Force's requirements for offloading fuel and transporting cargo, passengers and patients."
Boeing's KC-46 tanker trailer will be on display at Rodeo 2011 today through July 29 and at several key industry trade shows and events later this year.
On Feb. 24, Boeing received a contract to build 179 next-generation aerial refueling tanker aircraft that will begin to replace the Air Force's fleet of 416 KC-135 tankers. The contract calls for Boeing to design, develop, manufacture and deliver 18 initial combat-ready tankers by 2017.
Based on the proven Boeing 767 commercial airplane, the KC-46 tanker is a widebody, multi-mission aircraft updated with the latest and most advanced technology to meet the demanding mission requirements of the future, including a digital flight deck featuring Boeing 787 Dreamliner electronic displays and a flight control design philosophy that places aircrews in command to maximize combat maneuverability. The KC-46 also features an advanced KC-10 boom with an expanded refueling envelope, increased fuel offload rate and fly-by-wire control system.
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