ST. LOUIS, May 21, 2005 -- Boeing (NYSE:BA) test pilots took the first Italian Air Force KC-767A advanced aerial refueling tanker on its maiden flight today.
Named Italy KC-767A#1, the aircraft lifted off from McConnell Air Force Base, Wichita, Kan., and flew for more than one hour, officially beginning its flying and aerial refueling certification test program.
"We are extremely proud of the KC-767A's maiden flight," said Lt Col Roberto Poni, the on-site Italian Air Force liaison officer to the tanker program. "Together we have managed some significant challenges and, together, we will perfect this much needed asset."
Employees, suppliers and customers viewed the event, including members of the on-site Aeronavali partner team who will lead modifications of the next KC-767 tankers in their facilities in Naples, Italy.
"Boeing has a great launch customer in the Italian Air Force," said Jim O'Neill, Boeing vice president and Tanker program manager. "This is a completely new aerial refueling aircraft, designed with capabilities uniquely suited for the security needs of today and tomorrow."
The new Italian tanker, which has an open architecture cockpit and advanced aerial refueling boom with a remote aerial refueling operator station, was unveiled publicly only two months ago and will undergo a rigorous flight test and aerial refueling certification program. Boeing is scheduled to deliver the aircraft to the Italian Air Force in Spring 2006.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.
Boeing Air Force Systems