9:40 am on a wet and grey Sunday morning in Seattle saw the first flight of an aircraft with a tumultuous history. Â This wasn’t a 787 or the A350, this was a Boeing aircraft that has not had much in the way of press in recent times. However, in the past that was a different story.
The first 767-2C, the prototype that will lead to the beginning of the KC-46 program took to the air for the first time. Â With it, over 12 years of history will see the USAFâ€™s new tanker project finally start to fly.
Â The first flight of the 767-2C is not technically a KC-46 Pegasus tanker, but the first of four aircraft destined for the testing of this unique aircraft. Â A hybrid aircraft of sorts,- made up of the fuselage of a 767-200, the wings of a -300ER, and then throw in the cockpit of Boeingâ€™s latest aircraft, the 787, and you have this almost frankensteinish aircraft that will perform, what some think of as, the most unnatural of airborne feets, refueling other aircraft mid-flight.
Boeingâ€™s history, not only with tankers but with this program alone, could fill page after page. Â Letâ€™s try and condense it down, shall we?