ST. LOUIS, Feb. 21, 2007 — A Boeing [NYSE: BA] flight test crew deployed the air refueling boom on the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF) future KC-767 Tanker for the first time Feb. 17 in the skies over western Kansas.
After departing Boeing Integrated Defense Systems facilities in Wichita, Kan., the flight crew deployed the fly-by-wire boom and flew it to several vertical and horizontal positions to demonstrate its full functionality. The flight also verified boom flight control handling qualities and the integration between the aircrew operator and the world’s most advanced refueling systems.
„Now that we’ve deployed the boom on Japan’s first tanker, we will push forward and complete testing so we can deliver the most advanced air refueling platform to our Japanese customer,“ said Joe Shaheen, director of Boeing International Tanker Programs.
The Japan KC-767 Tanker, a military derivative of the proven 767-200 commercial airplane, was selected over its competitor, the Airbus A-310, in a direct competition in 2001. It has been configured with a fifth-generation air refueling boom and the Remote Aerial Refueling Operator (RARO II) system.
Under contract to receive four KC-767 Tankers, the JASDF has selected the convertible freighter configuration, which will provide flexibility in carrying cargo or passengers, while maintaining its primary role as an aerial tanker.
Boeing also recently extended and retracted the refueling hose from the centerline Hose Drum Unit on the first KC-767 for Italy, and will deliver the first tanker to that country in 2007. In addition to flight-testing the KC-767 for international customers, Boeing announced Feb. 12 that it will offer the KC-767 Advanced Tanker for the U.S. Air Force’s KC-X Tanker competition.
Boeing has been designing, building, modifying and supporting tankers for nearly 75 years. The company has more than 220 flights and 680 hours on the KC-767.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world’s largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32.4 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world’s largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world’s largest satellite manufacturer; a foremost developer of advanced concepts and technologies; a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA’s largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.