IQ TopShot (video edition): Tanker takeoffs

Double delivery on a new day, new mission

March 29, 2021 in Innovation, Defense

EVENT: Delivery of two KC-46A Pegasus tankers, flown by the U.S. Air Force to Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire


DATE: Dec. 11, 2020

TIME: Approximately 8 a.m. PST

PLACE: Boeing Field, Seattle, Runway 14/R

WEATHER: 44 F (7 C), winds WNW 5 mph (8 kph), light rain

This particular morning had some broken clouds in the sky, the temperature was cooler, and you could see an orange glow to the east as the sun was rising.

By the time the two aircraft taxied by us, we knew it was something special, with the way the sunrise light was sweeping low across the runway with a beautiful glow and making everything pop with color.

The marble-blue clouds; green grass; ink black, wet runway; and the city in the deep background were going to add to this beautiful scene. Both aircraft looked amazing as they taxied by and took flight. The second aircraft just morphed into the bright morning light as it flew away.

This is when I love my craft the most, when I can capture a moment and all the attributes that make a good image come together. On a deeper level, given what our company has gone through the last year, this is a moment of hope and light and a promise that better days are ahead.

– Jim Lally, Boeing videographer

KC-46A Pegasus tanker facts:

  • The widebody tanker is also called the Pegasus. In Greek mythology, the winged divine horse signifies helping others in many ways. Given the aircraft’s multirole capabilities — air refueling and the transporting patients, passengers and cargo — the name is a perfect fit.

  • The aircraft is designed to offer flexibility, with the ability to refuel all U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft with an advanced fly-by-wire boom, wing-mounted hose and drogue systems, and wing air refueling pods that provide simultaneous multipoint refueling.

  • The aircraft is equipped with the power, space and communications infrastructure for future enhancements, including the opportunity to act as a communications node as the U.S. Air Force builds out its Advanced Battle Management System concept.

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