Boeing's proposed new Air Force aerial refueling tanker will borrow features from three versions of Boeing's 767 commercial aircraft, FlightGlobal.com reported Wednesday.
The aviation publication, quoting Boeing insiders, says Boeing’s proposal to the Air Force will be based on the 767-200 fuselage and wings equipped with the cargo door and floor from the 767-300 Freighter. The tanker’s cockpit will borrow its configuration from the 767-400.
The tanker will also include a new digitally-controlled refueling boom, the publication said.
The cockpit will include four large flat panel displays similar to those installed on the 767-400 and 777 aircraft instead of the analog instruments that equip the earlier 767 models.
Using the 767-200’s basic structure will ensure that the tanker is small enough to give the Boeing offering an advantage over EADS’ tanker offering, Boeing claims. The EADS plane will be based on the Airbus A-330 aircraft.
The 767-based tanker will land and take off in shorter distances than the EADS tanker and will fit in tighter parking spots. The EADS tanker will carry more fuel and more passengers.
Boeing and EADS, the European aerospace manufacturer, are locked in a multi-round battle to win the estimated $35 billion contract to build 179 new tankers for the Air Force. The Pentagon expects to announce a winner late this year.