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Team of KC-46s Line Up for Almost Laser-Straight Elephant Walk

Regardless of their type, military aircraft are generally designed to be impressive while in the air. Sure, there are some that can cause a stir while on the ground as well, but not that many. For the rest, people invented the elephant walk.
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As some of you might already know, the term was coined back in the days of the Second World War, when the need of having thousands of planes in the air at any given time caused quite the commotion on the runways, where possibly hundreds of winged machines lined up at the same time, waiting to take off to their targets.

Seeing such big crowds, someone started comparing these gatherings with elephants lining up on a watering hole. Hence, the elephant walk term was born, and it is still being used by the U.S. Air Force (USAF), proudly, as often as possible.

Now, we’re used to seeing F-35s and F-16s doing this, but there’s no rule that says transport and tanker aircraft can’t do the same. And here’s proof they’re just as good, if not better, at lining up on the runway.

The main pic of this piece (click main photo to enlarge) shows no less than seven KC-46s on the tarmac of the Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire. They’re almost perfectly aligned one behind the other, to the point where the image becomes confusing. And all in the name of displaying “a collective readiness and ability to generate combat airpower at a moment's notice ensuring regional stability.”

The KC-46, also known as the Pegasus, is the youngest airplane of its kind currently in service, having been fielded since about 2015. It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney engines good for 62,000 lbs of thrust, can reach speeds of 660 mph (1,062 kph), and can take off weighing as much as 415,000 lbs (188,241 kg).

The plane’s primary mission is to carry fuel (212,299 lbs/96,265 kg of it), but it can also double as a transport plane, either for people or for cargo.

 
 
 
 
 

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