Boeing tanker design gets official Air Force blessing

The Boeing Co. and the U.S. Air Force today announced they have reached agreement on the final design of the KC-46A aerial-refueling tanker, which will be built in Everett and is derived from the Boeing 767.

The two parties held formal sessions about the design in early July and then announced the review complete, but there were loose ends, and the so-called Critical Design Review wasn’t officially date-stamped until Aug. 21. That’s still a month ahead of schedule.

Boeing began assembling the first KC-46A at the Everett factory in June and work on the second plane began last month. The company has begun building the second of five test booms, meanwhile, at Boeing Field.

Said Air Force Maj. Gen. John Thompson, the executive officer for tankers, in a statement issued today: “This build and test phase is another critical step toward meeting the KC-46 contractual Required Assets Available date — a milestone requiring 18 KC-46 aircraft and all necessary support to be on the ramp, ready to support warfighter needs by the August 2017 timeframe. To succeed will require the focused efforts from all members of the team.”

If all goes well for Boeing, the company will build 179 tankers worth billions of dollars. The KC-46A will replace elderly KC-135s, some of which are almost as old as I.

More in Herald Business Journal

Best foot forward: Ferndale company to make custom shoes easy

Long specializing in insoles, Superfeet is putting 3-D machines in stores to make customized shoes.

Does a hypersonic US reconnaissance plane already exist?

A Skunk Works executive speaks of the top secret aircraft as if it is already in operation.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Port of Everett CEO Les Reardanz has been called up and will be spending much of the year away from his office. He is going to Afghanistan. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Port of Everett CEO reporting for duty — in Afghanistan

Les Reardanz has been called to active duty with the Navy for an eight-month deployment.

Boeing opens new $17 million training center in Auburn

Workers and dignitaries marked the grand opening of the facility Monday.

Trump’s company fights efforts to shed the president’s name

“Our homes are worth more without the Trump name.”

Airbus floats shutdown of A380 superjumbo

The aircraft is so big that some airports had to expand runways to accommodate the 550-seat plane.

Why 7-Eleven, inventor of the Slurpee, is going organic

As sales of gas, cigarettes and soda plummet, stores to offer “better-for-you” products.

Make sure you don’t miss the memo for financial freedom

Economic empowerment for low- to moderate-income individuals and families.

Most Read