Pegasus Plays with a Hornet

A KC-46A Pegasus refueled an aircraft using its hose and drogue system for the first time during a test flight from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., manufacturer Boeing announced. The aircraft made contact and successfully transferred fuel to a Navy F/A-18C Hornet flying at 20,000 feet altitude during a four-hour flight on Feb. 10. The KC-46 incorporates three hose and drogue systems, including an internal, centerline drogue unit, and two wing air refueling pods to service Navy and allied aircraft types, in addition to its standard boom system. The 412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB, Calif., successfully tested the ?boom, passing fuel to an F-16 last month as part of ongoing refueling trials. In addition to the light/fast aircraft, the KC-46 will test both boom and hose/drogue systems’ ability to refuel light/slow aircraft, represented by the A-10 and AV-8B, followed by a C-17, representing heavy receiver aircraft. The tests are prerequisites for the Air Force’s Milestone C low-rate initial production decision.