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KC-46 Flies Around The World Nonstop

A KC-46 from the 22nd Air Refueling Wing accomplished something no 767 or KC-46 has ever done before. On June 29th, the jet took off from McConnell Air Force base and flew west. It landed 45 hours later back at McConnell completing an around the world journey. ( More...

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stratofan 15
A tip of the hat to this aircrew and the ground support crew for making this flight a reality.
Nathan Cox 11
Just waiting for the “flat earth” folks to chime in… 😂
Tim Dyck 3
I’m sure they have a scientific reason why this can happen. A few years ago I looked up the flat earth stuff to use as a joke in a debate and was surprised at the reasonings they have to explain things like satellites orbiting the planet.
BTW the debate was about misinformation on the internet.
MVYsite 5
Was anything of value achieved by this flight, or simply bragging rights ? Sure it was a nice feat, but was is worth burning many thousands of pounds of JetA, not to mention all the other costs born by American tax payers ? I imagine the flight planners knew full well the flight would be successful, so why bother ? I'm SURE I'll get plenty of flack for asking these questions.
Rick D 5
Since it landed at the airport of departure, technically it can only be logged as a local flight, not cross-country.
Craig Good 5
This just in: Earth still a globe.
We know the earth isn’t flat, because, if it were, cats would’ve long since knocked everything off the edge.
Rick D 3
Good one.
srobak 4
The funniest part is it also couldn't refuel itself - and instead had to rely on the 135 that it is supposed to replace to keep it in the air lol.
I know nothing about the KC-46, but I thought it was a refueling aircraft. If this is true, how much fuel does it carry BESIDES its' own fuel load? Not enough to go around the world without refueling in-flight. That would be something to see a refueling tanker made a non-stop journey round the world.
mmayer 2
Is there a map of their flight path anywhere?

Maybe not since it is military, but I'd be interested to see the routing.
Search 20-46075 and you should be able to see its most recent flights; RCH046 on June 29 and July 1.

Departed from McConnell June 29 around 21:00Z headed west. Left the CONUS near Ft. Bragg, CA and dropped from tracking. Picked up a brief blip as it passed over Hawaii.

The July 1 RCH046 flight track picks it up again over the UAE, through the Persian Gulf to Turkiye and across Europe. We see a loop off the coast of England north of RAF Mildenhall for refuelling.

It appears again with a brief blip off the coast of Iceland and disappears again until it re-enters the CONUS over Lake Superior.

I searched through all the 16-46.., 17-46.., 18-46.., etc Pegasus aircraft’s in the fleet and any flights around July 1 to try to figure out which one it was.😅
Once I landed on 20-46075 and googled it I found a good write up on Twitter/X by “MeNMyRC”
Curtis LeMay did it years ago out of Westover Air Force Base. No big deal.
Tim Dyck -2
Was he flying a KC-46?
matt jensen 3
Hell NO. Read your up on your history - Something other than Wiki
In 1949 a Buff did the same flight - r/t/w
matt jensen 3
We will be flying thru space in the near future,what an adventure that will be!
Amazing great plane. does the job.
srobak -1
Lol. Funny post!
It would be interesting to compare the distance they flew vs the distance they covered. Since the planet was rotating beneath them, the actual flown distance would be less.
Fred Ramon 6
The atmosphere above the earth is moving eastward with the earth at 733mph. You do not cover more ground in an airplane when flying west.
Thanks for clearing that up.
Tim Dyck 0
The air speed wouldn't change would but the distance covered would change due to the earths rotation beneath the plane depending on if your travelling east or west?
Fred Ramon 4
No, the earth and the airspace around the earth are rotating together, including an aircraft in the sky. Everything within the earths atmosphere is rotating with the earth at 733mph. Even when you are sitting on your couch smoking a fat one 🤣
Is 733mph the rotational speed at the equator at sea level, since it would vary based on latitude and altitude?
Fred Ramon 1
What was the purpose of the flight? Was it just a test?
Search 20-46075 and you should be able to see its most recent flights; RCH046 on June 29 and July 1.

I also googled “20-46075 flight path” and found a good write up on Twitter/X by “MeNMyRC” with some screen grabs of the flight.
sparkie624 0
Excellent.. The KC-46 is a Good and Solid aircraft!
Matt West 4
I don't know if I would call it "solid". To be sure, the airframe it's based on has an excellent record as both a passenger and cargo aircraft. The 46 however is still not at full operational ability, even after so many years. They're still working out a number of "bugs", including FOD, which has caused the USAF to stop deliveries in the past.

I don't know how they were able to take such a proven workhorse and mess it up the way they have. That said, if anyone could screw it up, it'd be Boeing.
Duane Mader 5
FOD? FOD is foreign object damage or foreign object debris. How is that an airplane design problem?
sparkie624 2
There is a group local here flying them, and I have not seen issues with them and I also know a mechanic who works at the airbase as a mechanic. They seem to really like the plane!
srobak 1
The boomers hate them because the remote boom ops are complete garbage. Latency and precision issues. They've been plagued with design and electrical issues on multiple fronts and the entire fleet has been grounded more times than the max. Read up on the history - the 46 and the 35 alike are the most hated aircraft in the af. The funniest part is it also couldn't refuel itself - and instead had to rely on the 135 that it is supposed to replace to keep it in the air lol.
matt jensen 3
We love the KC135 as it only requires three man crew. The 46 needs 8-10 men to do the same job
srobak 1
Sorry f-35 is hated
If john McCain would have gotten his way, the contract would have gone to Airbus. Would you be happy then? What is the FOD issue and why do I think it's another red herring?
Nooge 1
So you did not vote for John ?
srobak 0
On what planet?
Tim Trosky 0
Tell them to try going around Canis Major, largest know star at 600 mph. Would take 1100 years. No problem.... Great job and congratulations.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

sparkie624 15
It may be old, but first time that I have seen it.
Tim Dyck 3
Only a month and a half old and had it not been here I would not have seen it.


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