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PANTHER 800 MARKS BEGINNING OF FLIGHT TEST PROGRAM

 PANTHER 800 MARKS BEGINNING OF FLIGHT TEST PROGRAM
 DALLAS, June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The LTV-led Panther 800 helicopter


program marked another milestone today at American Eurocopter's facilities in Grand Prairie, Texas, with the official launch of the flight-test program.
 The Panther 800 is being offered to the U.S. Army by the Aircraft Division of LTV Aerospace and Defense, American Eurocopter, LHTEC and IBM as an off-the-shelf replacement for the UH-1H light utility helicopter.
 "The flight-test portion of this program marks a significant step toward proving the Panther 800 is the ideal choice for the Army's light lift requirements," said Gordon Williams, president of the Aircraft Division. "I'm confident this is the beginning of a successful flight- test program.
 "The Panther 800 offers a significant advantage in cost, power and performance. By choosing a non-developmental item, the Army can obtain an operationally superior, cost-efficient fleet that will serve its forces well into the future."
 In May 1988, LTV and American Eurocopter (then Aerospatiale) signed an agreement to develop a non-developmental item helicopter to meet the Army's anticipated shortfall of approximately 1,000 light utility helicopters.
 The result was the Panther 800, a variant of the AS-565 airframe equipped with two T800 engines and an improved, state-of-the-art cockpit.
 The T800 is the Army's first fly-by-wire helicopter engine and was developed specifically for the RAH-66 advanced light scout/attack helicopter. The T800 is rated at 1,200 shaft horsepower and operates at 23,000 rpm.
 The Panther 800 is a sister ship to the U.S. Coast Guard's HH-65 Dolphin, which has more than 200,000 hours fleet service and in-service operation in more than 40 countries.
 The helicopter hovered for the first time in March and completed ground tests in May.
 "The Panther 800 is right on schedule, and we're pleased with the results so far," said David Smith, president and chief executive officer of American Eurocopter. "We're looking forward to the start of our demonstration tour later this year."
 Tour stops this year include the National Guard convention in Salt Lake City and the Association of United States Army convention in Washington.
 The Panther 800 team members include American Eurocopter, responsible for the Panther 800's basic airframe design and rotor technology; LHTEC, which provides the engines; and IBM, which provides the mission equipment package and cockpit integration.
 LTV Aerospace and Defense Company manufactures missile, rocket and space systems, and subassemblies for military and commercial aircraft. The 22nd largest defense contractor in the United States, it is a subsidiary of The LTV Corporation (NYSE: QLTV), a Dallas-based diversified manufacturing company also involved in steel and energy products.
 -0- 6/12/92
 /CONTACT: Liz Brannan of LTV Aerospace and Defense, Aircraft Division, 214-266-2543/
 (LTV) CO: LTV Aerospace and Defense Company ST: Texas IN: ARO SU:


CK -- NY035 -- 9639 06/12/92 11:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 12, 1992
Words:471
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