WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (April 25) — The U.S. Air Force has awarded Engineered Fabrics Corp. a four-year, $14 million contract to supply Boeing Co. with flexible polyurethane fuel tanks for the B-52 strategic bomber.
The agreement to provide the bladder fuel tanks, tooling and engineering to Boeing is part of an Air Force initiative to maintain its aging bomber fleet, according to a statement from K&F Industries Holdings Inc., EFC´s parent company.
EFC expects to deliver the first tanks to Boeing in the first quarter of 2007.
The Air Force´s B-52 fleet, delivered between 1961 and 1962, is undergoing maintenance and upgrading to extend their lives beyond 2040, the announcement said. B-52Hs have seven fuselage fuel cells, with total capacity of nearly 18,000 gallons. This gives them a range of more than 10,000 miles, allowing the plane to carry out intercontinental air strikes without refueling.
"EFC was selected due to our high level of technical expertise and the superior construction required in the maintenance and upgrade of this versatile bomber," said Kenneth Schwartz, President and CEO of K&F Industries, in the company statement.
"The agreement represents a further expansion of our existing large fleet of military aircraft, and marks the first time K&F products will be used on the B-52," Schwartz added.
EFC is also the only Federal Aviation Agency-certified U.S. supplier of polyurethane fuel tanks, the firm said.