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FIRST NIGHT PARACHUTISTS DROPPED, C-17 TEST FLEET SURPASSES 1,900 HOURS

 EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The first night parachutist drop was conducted from a C-17 Globemaster III transport last month as the test fleet surpassed the 500 mission mark and 1,900 total flying hours.
 On Aug. 24, the first high-altitude, low-opening (HALO) paratroop drop conducted at night from the C-17 was successfully accomplished, when 18 parachutists leaped from an altitude of 25,000 feet. The tests also were designed to check aircraft lighting systems and confirm proper visibility within the C-17 for the jumps.
 Also during August, a C-17 set five additional world records in the payload-to-altitude and time-to-climb categories. Last December, the C-17 set 14 world records in two aircraft gross weight classes, including 12 "altitude-with-payload" marks.
 Last week's records, pending certification by the National Aeronautical Association, were in the category of aircraft with gross weight between 331,000 and 441,000 pounds. (Aircraft gross weight is the sum of the aircraft, fuel and payload weights.)
 On Aug. 24, at the same time it dropped the first night parachutists, P-4, the fourth production aircraft, established a record. Gross weight of the aircraft at takeoff was approximately 380,000 pounds, and the record was set by flying a 2,000 Kg. (4,400 pound) payload to an altitude of 35,000 feet.
 The aircraft established more records Aug. 26 during another night drop mission, when it carried an 11,000 pound payload to an altitude of 40,500 feet P-4 set additional records for its weight category by climbing to 3,000 meters (9,843 feet) in 3 minutes and 55 seconds, 6,000 meters (19,686 feet) in 7 minutes and 31 seconds, and 9,000 meters (29,529 feet) in 14 minutes and 32 seconds.
 On Aug. 18, P-4 successfully dropped 34 jumpers representing all four branches of the U.S. military. On the first pass from 25,000 feet, 18 Air Force and Navy special jumpers were dropped. On the second pass, 16 Army and Marine jumpers in full combat equipment made HALO jumps.
 On Aug. 27, a total of 54 HALO parachutists jumped in two drops from P-4 at an altitude of 12,500 feet. One group of 27 parachutists exited the aircraft in 27 seconds from the time the green light went on. On Aug. 30, a group of 43 parachutists conducted HALO jumps from 18,000 feet during one pass.
 In other recent C-17 flight tests, minimum-speed liftoffs were accomplished and expansion of the flight envelope continued during phase two of high-angle-of-attack tests. These tests will determine stall speeds and stall warning limits for the aircraft when operated in certain flight attitudes.
 To date, the six aircraft in the C-17 flight test fleet have flown a total of 517 missions for a cumulative total of 1,901 flying hours.
 -0- 9/1/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Ramsey of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, 310-522-2567/
 (MD)


CO: McDonnell Douglas Aerospace ST: California IN: ARO SU:

JL-MF -- LA029 -- 8148 09/01/93 17:27 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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