The first aircraft of the year was sent to FedEx Express, with Air Tanzania, UPS Airlines, and the United States Air Force all waiting on planes

FedEx Express 767 freighter
Photo: Boeing 

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing recently went three months without delivering any of its 767 freighters or KC-46 Pegasus aircraft. The KC-46 is an aerial refueling tanker based on the 767-200 currently in service by several Air Forces around the globe.

Boeing informed operators in January that it had detected an issue with the paint primer used by a supplier in the central wing fuel tank of some KC-46A Pegasus and 767-300F aircraft and paused deliveries while it rectified the problem in its current stock of completed aircraft.

Deliveries have resumed

The first aircraft delivered was a FedEx Express Boeing 767-300F bearing the registration N282FE. The aircraft was spotted above Paine Field on Saturday, April 1st, in advance of its delivery. The freighter departed shortly before noon and flew down the Pacific coast and back up across the State of Oregon, returning to Everett after a flight of 2 hours and 20 minutes.

On April 4th, the freighter made its way from Everett’s Paine Field to the FexEx hub at Indianapolis International Airport. The flight (FX9030) departed almost half an hour ahead of schedule at 12:47 and flew for three and a half hours across a wide swath of the United States before landing in Indiana at 19:19.

The Boeing 767F flightpath


There are two more Boeing 767Fs scheduled for imminent delivery, based on flight tracking data. The first is a UPS Airlines 767F, registered as N378UP, which made its first flight on April 4th, 2023. The 23-minute flight saw it fly north and circle Port Susan before returning to its base

Air Tanzania’s first 767F, registered as 5H-TCO, is also pending delivery. The purchase was the subject of a recent controversy when it was revealed that someone within the government had increased the final invoice for the aircraft in an attempt to defraud the State. Regardless, the African carrier’s inbound freighter conducted a test flight using the flight code BOE300 on March 19th, 2023.

A spokesperson for Boeing declined to provide any additional details about upcoming deliveries or which customers were receiving the aircraft when reached by Simple Flying.

In addition to the Air Tanzania Cargo aircraft, the manufacturer has yet to deliver 27 aircraft to FedEx and the same number to UPS. Another 58 refueling tankers remain on order for the US Air Force.

What caused the issue?

The center wing tank structure supplier informed Boeing that it had not followed the proper cleaning and paint adhesion testing procedures on the fuel tanks before shipping them to Boeing for the final assembly of the 767 variants. According to AeroTime, the supplier changed ownership from Triumph Group to Daher last year.

The issue was not deemed immediately critical. However, there was the potential that an improperly painted and primed fuel tank structure could result in clogged fuel filters and restrict fuel flow to the aircraft’s engines.

Boeing 767F for UPS

Photo: Boeing

A spokesperson for the US Air Force’s Air Mobility Command confirmed to AeroTime that an “Initial assessment has not identified any immediate safety risk to the fleet,” adding that there are no documented instances of fuel contamination caused by non-conforming tank primer on KC-46A aircraft.

Source: AeroTime, The Air Current.


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