*Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) ST. LOUIS, USA - October 4, 2009: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] announced Oct. 1, 2009 that a (K)DC-10 modified with Fokker Services and Boeing's Cockpit Upgrade Program (CUP) has completed a certification flight-test program that began in July 2008. The 2 KDC-10 are Dutch tanker and transport aircraft from the Royal Netherlands Air Force which can rapidly deploy large numbers of cargo and troops over long distances. Besides, they can refuel other NATO aircraft like F-16 fighter jets and other aircraft equipped to be refueled by a boom system. By refueling fighter jets, they will have to make less starts and landings which take care of a better environment around an air force base. Secondary the refuel aircraft take care that during operations the operational aircraft can fly over longer distances and can stay longer in the sky.These two aspects were used when Dutch F-16's toke part of Operation Enduring Freedom. To refuel other aircraft the KDC-10 has a long boom on the back of the aircraft where a controller in the KDC-10 maneuvers the boom with joysticks to the fighter jet. The KDC-10 are the largest aircraft from the RNLAF.BackgroundThe Royal Netherlands Air Force has 2 KDC-10 (number T235 and T264) and 1 DC-10 (which comes operation in 2007). Furthermore the Air Force will get a 4th DC-10. The 2 KDC-10 aircraft were bought in june 1992 from the civil airliner Martinair (in those days they were designated with DC-10) and came operational in 1995. After they had been bought they were converted to tanker and military transport aircraft. To make it a military aircraft it must have specific NAVO equipment like avionics, navigation- and communications systems. Other systems that were build in into the planes are: the installation of the 'boom'-system and -lightening, adjustment of the fuel-, electric and hydraulic systems to use the boom, a 'Remote Air Refueling Operating' (RARO)-control station with the corresponding systems. The boom operator control station is direct behind the cockpit. CUP provides aircraft with new flight-management and display systems as well as improved communications. Crewmembers from the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), Fokker and subcontractor Boeing conducted the certification program's five-hour final test flight from the Netherlands' Eindhoven Air Base on Aug. 26. "We are pleased with the results of the flight tests for this system, which will provide the RNLAF with the worldwide navigation capability we need as we continue to share assets with other European countries," said RNLAF Maj. Michel Broekman. The program now moves into the certification process with the Netherlands' certification authority, followed by customer acceptance early next year. Next, the CUP-modified aircraft will begin Operational Test and Evaluation (OTE) with the RNLAF crew. Upon completion of OTE for the first aircraft, the RNLAF will induct the next of two more (K)DC-10s for the CUP modification in 2010. "Our success with this upgrade positions us well for future modification work in the communication, navigation, surveillance and air-traffic management arena. The CUP modification offers an affordable, proven solution for other aircraft, including the KC-10," said Mark Rowland, (K)DC-10 CUP program manager for Boeing. Boeing submitted a proposal in July for the U.S. Air Force's KC-10 Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) upgrade program. The contract is expected to be awarded in May 2010. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.