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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Boeing KC-767 Tanker Milestone

Boeing said its KC-767 Tanker reached a major milestone this month when its crew extended and retracted the refueling hose from the centerline hose drum unit during a test flight in Kansas. Over the next several months, about two dozen flights will be conducted while trailing the hose to ensure the system's stability, Boeing said. While the U.S. Air Force primarily uses a boom for aerial refueling, the Italian Air Force, along with the U.S. Navy, the Marine Corps and other NATO forces predominantly use hose and drogue refueling. The U.S. Air Force said it wants both a boom and hose refueling capability for its next-generation KC-X tanker. Boeing said the hose and drogue equipment, when fully operational, will have the capability to refuel large or small probe-equipped aircraft and can offload 600 gallons of fuel per minute. The KC-767 also is configured to carry two Wing Aerial Refueling Pods for the hose and drogue refueling mission, allowing the simultaneous refueling of multiple aircraft. The KC-767, slated for delivery to Italy this year, logged more than 220 flights and 660 hours during its flight test program. The first KC-767 for Japan, which recently completed its first flight, is scheduled to be delivered soon, Boeing said. For related news

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