(Bloomberg) — Decision to approve Low-Rate Initial Production contracts for 19 tankers delayed again, by one month, as Boeing verifies fix to refueling system glitches needed to transfer fuel to heavy aircraft.
- “Milestone C review is expected to occur in June, subject to completion of flight test verification” of fix, Air Force spokesman Daryl Mayer says in e-mail
- “Problem is well understood,” Mayer says
- Boeing spokesman Charles Ramey in e-mail says “we plan to complete flight tests of fix in coming weeks”
- NOTE: Production award was to occur in August 2016, slipped to April, then this month, now June
- Jan. 26 test refueling of C-17 transport revealed “load issues” with device that controls “extension and retraction” of boom used to pass fuel “while receiver aircraft is in contact with the tanker,” Mayer said
- “Control loop must maintain enough contact pressure to keep refueling nozzle connected, but not so much pressure as to place excessive force on tanker or receiver aircraft structure,” Mayer says