The U.S. Air Force has finally received the first of dozens of new aerial refueling tankers, nearly two decades after issuing a requirement for them. The KC-46A Pegasus tanker, built by Boeing, will replace some of the oldest aircraft in USAF inventories, KC-135 Stratotankers more than sixty years old.
On January 25th, two KC-46A tankers took off from Boeing’s airfield at Everett, Washington and flew to their new home at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas.
The KC-46A is actually a Boeing 767 commercial airliner modified to carry large amounts of fuel. The newer tanker carries up to 212,000 gallons of fuel at a time, 12,000 more than the jet it replaces, and can fuel at a rate of 1,200 gallons per minute.