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Boeing

KC-46A Tanker Simulator gives customers a preview

Employees at Boeing's Everett, Washington factory may have noticed a trailer of sorts outside the 767 assembly line.

Inside, Chief Boom operator for the KC-46, Sean Martin is giving those who help build the KC-46 Refueling Tanker an idea of what's it like to operate the plane. Based on Boeing's Commercial 767 plane, the KC-46 is the newest generation of air refueling planes Boeing will provide the U.S. Air Force. The experience Martin is providing is known as the "KC-46A Tanker Simulator Event".

"To have our folks that work in manufacturing out here at the airplane is an opportunity that they're going to carry forward as we build this airplane and send it to our Air Force customer," said Martin.

Two simulator stations give the employees a virtual experience of what it's like to refuel in flight and land the plane. "It was pretty cool. The 3-D aspect of it is impressive," said Julian Scharl, who works in Boeing Commercial Aviation Avionics.

But this showcase isn't just for fun. Martin says it's main purpose is to give the customer a hands-on experience of their plane before it's even built. "It has eased a lot of the concerns of our Air Force customer, just getting out here and to sit in to see what the station is kind of going to look like."