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FIRST U.S. AIR FORCE/McDONNELL DOUGLAS C-17 AIRLIFTER COMPLETES FLIGHT TESTING

 FIRST U.S. AIR FORCE/McDONNELL DOUGLAS
 C-17 AIRLIFTER COMPLETES FLIGHT TESTING
 EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The first U.S. Air Force/McDonnell Douglas C-17 airlifter completed three months of flight testing here this week, conducting its 31st mission for a total of 88.3 flying hours.
 "We're thrilled with the way the airplane is performing," said Brig. Gen. Kenneth Miller, C-17 Systems Program Office director for the USAF's Aeronautical Systems Division. "The rate at which we're flying and the accomplishments and the lack of problems that we're seeing in the test program is unprecedented in a totally new aircraft development program.
 The flight test aircraft is currently undergoing structural aerodynamic damping investigations, and the flight envelope has been expanded to 340 knots airspeed and 35,000 feet altitude. This week's tests continued to evaluate flying qualities in different aircraft configurations at various altitudes and airspeeds.
 Major milestones in the flight test program completed to date include:
 -- Short field landing with ground roll of approximately
 2,000 feet.
 -- Backing the aircraft on the taxiway under its own power.
 -- Flying six flights in seven days during November.
 -- Completed 10 out of 11 scheduled flights in December.
 (11th flight cancelled due to weather).
 -- Flying missions with durations of 5.6 hours, 4.9 hours., and
 4.7 hours.
 -- Fuel system leaks fixed with no recurring leaks evident during
 high flight rate achieved in late November and December.
 -- Self-jacking demonstrated for quick wheel changes.
 -- Engine starts using JP-4 and JP-8 fuel.
 -- Air data calibration completed at various altitudes,
 airspeeds.
 Meanwhile, static testing began Dec. 11 on one of two non-flying C-17s to determine that the airframe will withstand one and one-half times the planned structural loads it may encounter in flight.
 The first ultimate load was applied in a simulated aerial refueling scenario. The 20,000 pound load was applied to the universal air refueling receptacle slipway installation (UASRRSI), above and behind the C-17's cockpit. In actual flight, this load is applied to the UASRRSI by the refueling boom that is attached to the aerial tanker. The static aircraft successfully reacted to the test.
 Also, P-1, the first production C-17, has completed hydraulic proof testing and is approximately 82 percent complete. P-2, the second production C-17, has completed fuselage proof pressure testing and is approximately 79 percent complete. The third production aircraft, P-3, has completed major join where fuselage sections and the wing are joined together.
 The first four production aircraft will join T-1, the first flight test aircraft, in the two-year flight test program at Edwards A.F.B. Airworthiness and qualification flight tests currently underway will be followed in 1992 by cargo loading and unloading, troop transport, airdrop of cargo and personnel, and supportability testing.
 Testing is being conducted by a combined test force that includes Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and McDonnell Douglas (NYSE: MD) personnel.
 -0- 12/20/91
 /CONTACT: Jim Ramsey of Douglas Aircraft Co., 310-496-5027/
 (MD) CO: Douglas Aircraft Co. ST: California IN: ARO SU:


AL -- LA011 -- 4398 12/20/91 13:05 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 20, 1991
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