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FLIGHT TESTS UNDER WAY FOR MODIFIED FRENCH TANKER

 WICHITA, Kan., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Flight tests are proceeding well at Boeing Defense & Space Group for the first French Air Force C-135FR tanker modified with wing-mounted hose and drogue refueling pods. The tests are expected to conclude by early next month. First flight with the new refueling systems was made on Oct. 13 from the Product Support Division here.
 The addition of the wing-mounted hose and drogue pods enhances French Air Force capabilities by allowing simultaneous refueling of two probe-equipped fighters, while maintaining the capability to refuel French E-3 AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) airplanes via the C-135FR's centerline boom on the same mission.
 The two-month test program includes aerodynamic performance, handling qualities, flutter tests, and refueling system tests -- including day and night refueling with a probe-equipped F-100 fighter aircraft.
 Flight testing was preceded by ground qualification tests, where operation of the installed refueling systems was demonstrated. A fuel transfer rate of 400 gallons per minute was accomplished simultaneously from both refueling pods.
 The Boeing test program is part of a $41 million contract from the French Ministry of Defense, which also includes design of the new refueling system, modification of the fist aircraft, and production of modification kits. Installation of hose and drogue systems on the remaining 10 C-135FRs in the French fleet will be done in France by the Air France Group.
 The modification to the C-135FR includes structural, electrical, and fuel system changes necessary to accommodate the installation of the refueling pods. The pods, pylons, and pod control panels are manufactured by Flight Refuelling Ltd. in Great Britain.
 Boeing installed new CFM56 engines on the French tankers during the 1980s as part of the KC-135R re-engine program. The C-135FR is similar to the U.S. Air Force's KC-135R.
 -0- 11/12/93
 /CONTACT: Carolyn Russell of Boeing Defense & Space Group, 316-526-3902/


CO: Boeing Defense & Space Group ST: Kansas IN: ARO SU:

MC -- DV005 -- 3895 11/12/93 16:59 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 12, 1993
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