Boeing opens tanker test lab in Seattle
Boeing opened in Seattle Wednesday the first of five System Integration Labs for its KC-46 Air Force tanker program.
Seattle Times aerospace reporter
Boeing said Wednesday it has opened the first System Integration Laboratory in Seattle for its KC-46 Air Force tanker program.
This is the first of five tanker integration labs to be operating by the end of 2013. Four will be at Boeing Field in Seattle and one in Everett.
Boeing will use the labs to develop, integrate and test the various military systems on the airplane, including the refueling boom, which will be assembled at a Boeing Field facility.
“Accelerating system integration will drive out issues prior to flight testing and reduce risks to our schedule,” said Maureen Dougherty, KC-46 vice president and program manager.
Assembly of the first KC-46 tanker is scheduled to begin next summer in Everett.
Boeing is contracted to build a total of 179 tanker aircraft to replace the Air Force’s aging KC-135 tankers. It must deliver 18 combat-ready tankers by 2017.
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