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KC-46 air refueling tanker completes testing with Air Force’s largest plane

The U.S. Air Force’s newest KC-46A Pegasus air refueling tanker completed testing with Air Force’s largest plane, the C-5M Super Galaxy.

The 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs has reported that starting on April 29th, the KC-46 conducted the first refueling test with a Travis AFB C-5M Super Galaxy. The testing is a part of a larger test program to certify aerial refueling operations between the KC-46 and 22 different receiver aircraft.

Maj. Drew Bateman, 22nd Airlift Squadron chief of standardization and evaluation and a C-5M pilot, flew the Air Force’s largest aircraft for testing on April 29. He flew it again May 15.

“The April 29 sortie was the first where the KC-46 and the C-5M made contact,” Bateman said. “That was awesome to be a part of. You have a few pinch me moments in life and this was one of them for me. Not everyone gets to be a part of something like this. We were able to get two aircraft together for the first time.”

“Every test flight begins with a continuity check so the KC-46 crew ensures they can connect and disconnect safely with our aircraft,” Bateman added. “From there, we continue testing a variety of items at multiple speeds and altitudes throughout the sortie.”

One capability Bateman and his C-5M crew mates tested with the KC-46 was the ability to connect with both aircraft near max gross weight.

“For these tests, we were required to be over 800,000 pounds with cargo and fuel,” Bateman said. “Our 60th Aerial Port Squadron Airmen developed a load plan, the expediters loaded the cargo onto the airplane and our maintainers ensured the C-5M was flyable. It’s a huge team effort to ensure we are mission ready. I feel like I have the smallest part of it. I just fly the airplane.”

On April 29, Master …read more

Read more here:: Defence Blog (Air)

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