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Hungarian KC-390 makes maiden flight

The first of two KC-390s for Hungary seen on its four-hour maiden flight over Brazil. (Embraer)

The first of two Embraer KC-390 Millennium tanker-transport aircraft for Hungary made its maiden flight on 8 February.

The Brazilian manufacturer announced the event the following day, saying the aircraft flew for approximately four hours, having departed from the company's Gavião Peixoto production facility where it was built. It will now enter a test and assessment phase, before delivery to the customer later in 2024.

Hungary signed for the two KC-390s (designated C-390 in its baseline transport configuration) in November 2020. The aircraft for Hungary will be particularly configured for tactical transport operations, air-to-air refuelling of the service's Saab Gripen C/D fighters, and for the medical evacuation role (the Hungarian C-390s will be the first to include provisions for an intensive care unit).

The KC-390 Millennium has a hold volume of 170 m 3 (including the ramp) and a maximum payload of 23 tonnes (or a concentrated maximum payload of 26 tonnes over the centre of gravity). It has a rough-field capability, giving it the ability to land on California Bearing Ratio (CBR) 4-rated (soft-field) surfaces. Company-released performance specifications give the aircraft a maximum cruise speed of 470 kt (870 km/h), a maximum altitude of 36,000 ft, and a range (with 23 tonnes of payload) of 1,380 n miles (2,556 km) or a ferry flight with internal fuel tanks of 4,640 n miles. The range can be extended by in-flight refuelling.

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