USAF AMC completes longest flight with KC-46A Pegasus aircraft

Airmen from the United States Air Force (USAF) 22nd Air Refueling Wing (ARW) completed a successful 24.2 hour flight on a KC-46A Pegasus air refueling aircraft.

The all-new US Air Mobility Command (AMC) KC-46A aircraft completed the flight hours May 5-6, to and from McConnell Air Force Base (AFB) in Kansas, USA.

The sortie marks the longest flight in AMC’s history.

The milestone comes after weeks of work by the planning teams, which included personnel from the 22nd ARW, AMC and Boeing. Teams monitored the mental and physical well-being of aircrew.

The 24-hour flight involved two teams of pilots performing a four-hour rotational shift while the crew included six pilots, three boom operators, a doctor and a photojournalist.

In addition, a rescue team of pilots has also been deployed for emergency situations.

During the flight, the KC-46A Pegasus made dry contacts with a KC-46 aircraft, refueled four US Marine Corps (USMC) F-35 aircraft, and was refueled by another KC-46.

22nd ARW Colonel Commandant Nate Vogel said, “This sortie helps mobility forces identify how best to operate on long duration sorties, from the human, machine and mission aspects.

“Long-duration flights are inherently fraught with risk, and conducting this operation now allows us to identify those risks and then build and apply mitigation measures in a more controlled environment.”

“The Joint Force, our allies and our partners rely on our ability to project combat power on a global scale. We must be ready to perform anytime, anywhere.

All data collected during the long-duration flight will be used to determine the limitations, feasibility, potential risks and benefits of the KC-46 aircraft.

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