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SIXTH C-17 MAKES INAUGURAL FLIGHT

 LONG BEACH, Calif., Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The fifth production U.S. Air Force/McDonnell Douglas C-17 airlifter -- the sixth of the versatile new transports to fly -- completed its initial acceptance flight here on Sunday, Jan. 31.
 Called P-5, the latest C-17 completed a 2.3-hour flight at the Long Beach Municipal Airport, adjacent to McDonnell Douglas' C-17 assembly facilities. Later this winter, P-5 is scheduled to deploy to the Patuxent River, Md., Naval Air Test Center where it will undergo lightning and electromagnetic interference tests.
 P-5 will be tested for system-level electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) at the Long Beach facility. P-5 will then deploy to the Patuxent River, Md., Naval Air Test Center where McDonnell Douglas (NYSE: MD) will complete EMC testing and then proceed into electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and lightning tests.
 P-5 is the PCA (production configuration audit) aircraft -- meaning its configuration is identical to future production C-17s that will enter operational service. Plans call for P-5 to be delivered to USAF's first operational C-17 unit, the 437th Airlift Wing, at Charleston Air Force Base later this year.
 The next C-17 to be completed, P-6 will be delivered directly to the 437th Airlift Wing, part of USAF's Air Mobility Command. The aircraft currently is 85 percent complete. P-6 is the final aircraft to be delivered under the initial C-17 contracts covering engineering development and the first two production lots.
 The Air Force plans to buy 120 of the versatile new transports.
 At the end of January, the five C-17s had flown a total of 281 missions for a cumulative 985 flight test hours. P-3, the third production aircraft, has been deployed to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., where it currently is undergoing cold weather testing in the Air Force's climatic test hangar. Aircraft system tests have been accomplished with the aircraft subjected to temperatures below -40 degrees F.
 The fourth production aircraft, P-4, entered the flight test program on Jan. 20, when it was delivered to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Two acceptance test check flights were conducted on P-4 at Long Beach. These flights were a dry-run of the procedures that will be used for all future aircraft deliveries.
 P-4 will be used in development and operationally relevant testing by the USAF/McDonnell Douglas Combined Test Force. It also will be the primary air vehicle for initial crew training for the Air Mobility Command in addition to troop and cargo loading demonstrations. For example, during P-4's first week at Edwards Air Force Base, six Marine Corps light armored vehicles (LAVs) were loaded aboard the aircraft.
 Extensive loading demonstrations using P-4 are scheduled this month at Ft. Hood, Texas, home of the U.S. Army's III Corps with its armored and mechanized infantry units.
 Meanwhile, on the production line at Long Beach, work has begun on P-15, the 15th production aircraft. Production efficiencies are continuing, with P-10, the 10th production aircraft, expected to move to major join later this month.
 -0- 2/4/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Ramsey of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, 310-522-2567/
 (MD)


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

MS -- LA024 -- 2974 02/04/93 12:19 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 4, 1993
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