Aviation News

March 4, 2010

Boeing NewGen Tanker Enters Air Force KC-X Competition

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By: Matt Molnar
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Boeing NewGen Tanker
Artist's rendering of the Boeing NewGen Tanker. (Image courtesy of Boeing)
Boeing NewGen Tanker

Boeing NewGen Tanker

Boeing’s pitch for the US Air Force’s latest KC-X tanker competition will be a 767-based jet retrofitted with displays from the state-of-the-art 787 flight deck, according to a statement released by the company this afternoon. The cockpit’s main displays will be 75% larger than those found in the Airbus A330, which will likely be the main competition for Boeing’s bid.

Other advantages touted over the likely Airbus entry include full control of the jet by the crew, “which has unrestricted access to the full flight envelope for threat avoidance at any time, rather than allowing computer software to limit combat maneuverability,” the fact that the new jet will save American jobs by being constructed entirely within the United States and a 24% fuel burn advantage which would save $10 billion over the 40 year life of the fleet. Boeing also highlights a new-generation fly-by-wire boom, and the fact that they are the only company in the running which has ever designed and constructed aerial refueling booms.

Boeing will submit its final design on May 10th. It is not yet known when Airbus will submit its proposal, nor when the Pentagon will make a final decision.