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VARIG ACCEPTS FIRST MD-11

 VARIG ACCEPTS FIRST MD-11
 LONG BEACH, Calif., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The first McDonnell


Douglas (NYSE: MD) MD-11 jetliner for Brazil's VARIG airlines was delivered today in ceremonies on the flight ramp at the Douglas Aircraft Co. here.
 Two of the big trijets, gleaming in VARIG's white and blue colors, stood nose to nose as the backdrop for the event, with an historic 1934-vintage Douglas DC-2 lending contrast.
 A large audience of visitors from Brazil cheered as VARIG Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Rubel Thomas accepted the new aircraft from Douglas President Robert H. Hood.
 On the dais with them were Tony Ryan, chairman and chief executive of GPA Group Plc., which is leasing the aircraft to VARIG; Jon Mor, general manager for International Airline Sales of General Electric Aircraft Engines; John Feren, general manager of Commercial Business Planning and Management of Douglas, and VARIG's technical acceptance pilot, Captain Victor Nobregea.
 The delivery aircraft was scheduled to depart Tuesday afternoon for VARIG's Rio de Janeiro base. It will be joined later this month by the second aircraft, now being prepared for acceptance tests.
 VARIG (Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense) will begin scheduled MD-11 operations Nov. 25 after completing crew training and route proving flights. The aircraft will be used first on routes from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to Europe, to meet growing demand for passenger and cargo service.
 In remarks during the ceremony, Hood noted a relationship between VARIG and Douglas that spans 45 years. "We have been partners in world aviation since 1946," he said. "We are very proud to be able to make that statement." VARIG began flying Douglas DC-3s in 1946, and built a fleet of 50 of the famous twin engine propeller craft. The airline also operated four-engine DC-6s and jet-powered DC-8s, and now flies 12 McDonnell Douglas DC-10s.
 VARIG's MD-11s are fitted with 293 seats in a three-class arrangement, and can carry more than 17 tons of revenue freight in lower deck cargo holds after passenger's bags are loaded. There is more revenue cargo space available than in any other airliner.
 Powered by three General Electric CF6-80C2 engines rated at 61,500 pounds of takeoff thrust, the MD-11 flies at nearly 600 mph (9,650 kmph) and has non-stop range capability of 7,980 statute miles (12,840 km) with a full passenger load.
 The Brazilian airline was among launch customers that ordered the MD-11 in late 1986, and becomes the first carrier in South America to operate the trijet. In addition to the first two aircraft, VARIG has four more MD-11s on order, for deliveries in late 1992 and 1993. The airline also holds options on six more.
 With a total fleet of more than 75 aircraft, VARIG flies to cities in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia, as well as flights to other South American countries and domestic routes in Brazil.
 -0- 11/12/91
 /CONTACT: Don Hanson of Douglas Aircraft, 213-593-4710/
 (MD) CO: McDonnell Douglas Corp.; Douglas Aircraft Co,; VARIG ST: California IN: AIR SU: KJ -- LA025 -- 3678 11/12/91 17:50 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 12, 1991
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