Second Tanker Planning Software Project Enters Testing

New tanker allocation software that aims to make Air Mobility Command?s job easier is entering real-world testing this week, according to officials with the Air Force?s operational energy office.

The project, called ?Magellan,? follows an earlier initiative named ?Jigsaw? that revamped the aerial refueling planning process at the Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid AB, Qatar. It?s the operational energy office?s first time venturing into software development without the help of Kessel Run, the service?s group in Boston that creates new tools for the AOCs and helps train new coders.


McConnell KC-46 Crews Shaping the Future of Refueling

LE BOURGET, France?Despite extended delays and some continuing problems, the Air Force?s KC-46 operating base is now flying a steady stream of firsts and setting milestones.

Last week, the KC-46 made its international debut at the Paris Air Show. To mark the occasion, crews onboard the trans-Atlantic flight from McConnell AFB, Kan., to Ramstein AB, Germany, made filet mignon on board. On the way back this week, the KC-46 crews will mark the occasion by taking on space-available passengers for the first time in the Pegasus program.


KC-46 Tanker Gains FAA Approval

Boeing?s KC-46A Pegasus tanker?the aircraft intended to replace the veteran KC-135 Stratotanker in U.S. Air Force service?has been granted FAA approval, the company announced on September 4. With the KC-46A having completed the flying element of the certification requirements in July, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the Boeing 767-2C, verifying that it, and its refueling and mission avionics systems, meet FAA requirements.

Work on the STC began in 2015, including laboratory and ground tests before flight trials. Both the boom and drogue systems were assessed. Six aircraft were involved in the certification flight program. Preceding the STC approval, the baseline 767-2C was granted an FAA amended type certificate (ATC) in December 2017.

?Our Boeing/Air Force test team did an outstanding job successfully leading us through all the requirements, and we appreciate the FAA?s collaboration as well,? said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager. ?This milestone is important in that it is one of the last major hurdles in advance of first delivery to the U.S. Air Force.?