SEATTLE — Boeing workers in Everett have started assembling the first wing sparn for the U.S. Air Force KC-46A aerial refueling tanker.
According to Boeing, the spar, the main structural component of the wing, is 82 feet 5 inches long. On the aircraft it provides critical support for flight loads and the weight of the wings when the plane is not flying.
“We are building on the strong partnership that the Air Force and Boeing have developed during the past two years,” said Maureen Dougherty, Boeing vice president and KC-46 Tanker program manager. “From the enhanced flight deck to the modernized boom, our tanker will provide unequaled capabilities that will allow it to offload more fuel and carry more passengers, cargo and medical patients.”
The first flight of the aircraft, which is based on the commercial 767, is expected to be delivered in 2016.
Boeing is producing 179 of these tankers for the military.