Boeing B-52 With CONECT Upgrade Accomplishes 1st Test Flight

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Jan. 28, 2010 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that a B-52H upgraded with new communication technology successfully accomplished its first test flight at Edwards Air Force Base on Jan. 17. The Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT) upgrade allows B-52H crews to receive and send real-time digital information during their missions.

The more than three-hour flight around the Edwards area included an initial system build-up test, interphone test and communication test. The test process included power-on of each system in flight to determine that there were no adverse effects on flight-essential systems.

"Completion of the first test flight brings us one step closer to giving command centers and troops on the ground the ability to communicate with the B-52 through the military's digital information network," said Jim Kroening, Boeing B-52 Development Programs manager. "Augmenting current voice-based communication gives B-52 crews greater situational awareness and significantly enhanced mission capabilities."

Prior to the first test flight, a robust testing approach was used, starting with unit and system testing in the laboratory, progressing to system ground test and then flight test.

Boeing and the U.S. Air Force have accomplished more than 220 ground test points out of about 500. Ground and flight test will continue through February. The aircraft will then rotate through its planned depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and resume ground and flight test in January 2011 at Edwards.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security 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 Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

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Jennifer Hogan
Boeing Maintenance, Modifications and Upgrades
Mobile: 405-818-7859