First drogue & hose refueling for Pegasus

The Boeing KC-46, the future US tanker aircraft, successfully refueled an F/A-18 aircraft in flight on 10 February. It marks the first time fuel was transferred using the aircraft’s drogue and hose refueling system.

The KC-46 will refuel other aircraft using both its boom and hose and drogue systems. The boom allows the tanker to transfer up to 1,200 gallons of fuel per minute, while the plane’s hose and drogue systems, located on both the plane’s wing and centerline, enables the KC-46 to refuel smaller aircraft such as the F/A-18 with up to 400 gallons of fuel per minute.

On 24 January, the KC-46 refueled an F-16 fighter using its air refueling boom. The refueling flights should lead to a low-rate initial production decision later this year.

Boeing plans to build 179 KC-46 aircraft, named Pegasus when in service.

© 2016 editor Elmer van Hest