Boeing details KC-46A PEGASUS training
The KC-46A PEGASUS is the first part of a 3-phase effort to replace the US Air Force’s (USAF) aging tanker fleet. Boeing is the PEGASUS programme prime contractor. Charles “Chick” Ramey, Boeing’s KC-46 programme spokesperson, noted his company has not delivered any KC-46 aircraft yet. The veteran industry communicator added: “The plan is to deliver 18 aircraft to the USAF in 2018. We currently have 30-plus aircraft in build. We are on contract for the first 34 aircraft of the 179 that the USAF says it needs.”
The KC-46A training system is quickly evolving. Boeing is on contract to provide Type-1 Training for both aircrew and maintenance personnel.
Boeing was awarded a Maintenance Training System (MTS) under a separate contract. Scott Hamilton, the programme manager for the KC-46 Maintenance Training Program, said his company is providing a mix of high-fidelity maintenance training devices and Instructor-Based Interactive Multimedia Instruction (IMI). “The KC-46 Maintenance Training System will provide KC-46 maintenance training to include classroom instruction using state-of-the-art IMI, a suite of Augmented Hardware Training Devices (AHTD) augmented with IMI, and on-site support at multiple Main Operating Bases, beginning with McConnell Air Force Base (AFB) in Wichita, Kansas in 2018,” Mr. Hamilton added.
Asked to outline some of efficiencies in the KC-46 training systemme in terms of the percentage of onboard training tasks to be completed in training devices, and other metrics, the Boeing program official said: “The KC-46 MTS will be capable of training over 3,000 maintenance training tasks.”
As the PEGASUS is a derivative of the Boeing 767, programme Type-1 aircrew starts off in Miami, Florida where pilots get B767-type rated and then transition to “differences training” for the KC-46 Aircrew Type-1 training.
“The MTS programme isn’t carrying over training from civilian aircraft training systems due to the differences in experience levels between many of our students, and those that typically enter civilian aircraft training programmes,” Mr. Hamilton pointed out. “We are utilising new techniques to increase efficiencies in courseware construction to improve our products.”
Further, Boeing plans to deliver 31 maintenance training courses to McConnell AFB by the end of 2018 with initial delivery beginning in second quarter 2018. The initial suite of priority courses will focus on transitioning maintainers from other platforms to KC-46, and training new students out of Sheppard AFB, Texas. Additionally, Boeing is slated to stand up 20 Virtual Maintenance Training System (VMTS) classrooms, a Flight Deck/Avionics Augmented Hardware Training Devices (AHTD), a Fuel Systems AHTD, an Aerial Refueling AHTD, an Engine/APU [auxiliary power unit] AHTD, a Landing Gear AHTD, a Flight Controls AHTD and an Advanced Wiring and Electrical Repair AHTD from third quarter 2018 to first quarter 2019.
The defence programme executive also spoke to Boeing’s industry team supporting its training system. “Boeing is supported in this effort by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (San Diego), Technology and Training Division with responsibility for the Instructor Based Interactive Multimedia Instruction, Courseware, the Learning Management System, the Flight Deck/Avionics Augmented Hardware Training Device and the Aerial Refueling Augmented Hardware Training Device.” Safety Training Systems (Tulsa, Oklahoma, US) also supports Boeing and is responsible for the Flight Controls, Landing Gear, Engine/APU and Fuel Systems Augmented Hardware Training Devices. Mr. Hamilton concluded: “Tapestry Solutions (San Diego), a Boeing Company, additionally supports Boeing’s KC-46 MTS effort with responsibilities for cybersecurity, technical publications and network infrastructure (KC-46 MTS Local Area Network, server solutions, etc.).”