KC-46 Tanker Prototype

Boeing said its Air Force tanker prototype completed a 4.3-hour flight on June 2, 2015, with a refueling boom and wing refueling pods installed, although that equipment was not functional.  (Boeing)

For those that are curious, this is what I’ve been working on lately. I happened to be leaving work on Tuesday when N46IFT took off. I pulled the car over and she floated off towards Mount St. Helens as my eyes quickly looked over her body, stem to stern. Even in the distance I could still identify the distinct features that made her a tanker, especially my part — the Wing Aerial Refueling Pods that graced her tips.

From www.seattletimes.com:

On Tuesday’s flight, the [KC-46] prototype for the first time carried a refueling boom, a rigid tube extended back from the plane’s underside that’s used to pass fuel to an aircraft flying behind and below the tanker. The prototype was also fitted with wing-refueling pods, which are used to refuel aircraft with different in-flight fuel-docking systems that fly behind and to the side of the tanker.

Photo: John D. Parker/Boeing

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