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AH-64D L0NGBOW PROTOTYPE MAKES FIRST PUBLIC FLIGHT

 AH-64D L0NGBOW PROTOTYPE MAKES FIRST PUBLIC FLIGHT
 MESA, Ariz., May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The AH-64D Longbow, the most


advanced version of the combat-proven AH-64 Apache multimission helicopter, made its first public flight today.
 Several thousand U.S. Army and government officials, McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. employees and teammates, and news media representatives were on hand for the historic flight at the company's Mesa, Ariz., facility.
 McDonnell Douglas (NYSE: MD), along with a joint venture formed by Martin Marietta and Westinghouse, and a team of leading aerospace companies, are producing the modernized helicopter, which is designed to perform its missions anywhere, anytime and in virtually any weather.
 "We're witnessing the beginning of a new era in Army aviation," said Dean Borgman, president of McDonnell Douglas Helicopter. "The AH-64D Longbow will multiply and extend the Apache's battlefield domination into the next century, ensuring that the best combat helicopter in the world remains the best."
 "This program sustains the AH-64 production line for the Army and that benefits everyone on the team," he said.
 The aircraft, which has logged nearly five flight hours since its first engineering flight on April 15, performed a series of maneuvers, including hovering and forward, sideward and rearward flight. The April 15 flight was two weeks ahead of schedule.
 To date, the AH-64D Longbow has flown in excess of 110 knots in forward flight. Ed Wilson, McDonnell Douglas Helicopter's Longbow project pilot, and Jon Hannan, the company's chief pilot, have expanded the aircraft's flight envelope in each successive flight.
 The public debut officially marked the beginning of a 2,500-hour test program over the next 38 months.
 Chuck Vehlow, director of the AH-64D Longbow program at McDonnell Douglas, said that initial flight tests have gone smoothly and credited Team Longbow with "an outstanding job of integrating the aircraft's advanced software and hardware ahead of schedule.
 "We've witnessed the creation of an outstanding high-technology aircraft that was nurtured and developed by a team of individuals who know their jobs and performed as promised," Vehlow said.
 The AH-64D prototype is one of four being produced for the U.S. Army by McDonnell Douglas Helicopter under a 70-month development contract.
 The Army has plans to remanufacture 227 AH-64As into the AH-64D Longbow configuration.
 AH-64D Longbow is part of a cost-effective modernization plan to greatly enhance the Apache's warfighting capability, improve reliability and provide for future growth.
 The Army's modernization plan capitalizes on the research and development investments made in the AH-64D Longbow program to produce a common configuration for remanufactured AH-64C and AH-64D aircraft.
 Under the Army plan, 535 Apaches would be remanufactured into the AH-64C/D configuration, while remaining Apaches would be upgraded using field retrofits.
 The AH-64C and AH-64D are identical except for the addition of the Longbow radar system and more powerful -701C engines that will power the AH-64D.
 With the exception of its mast-mounted Longbow Fire Control Radar System, and expanded forward avionics bays, the AH-64D looks like the AH-64A Apache. But that's where the resemblance ends.
 AH-64D Longbow is equipped with advanced electronic systems that can rapidly detect, classify, prioritize and engage multiple ground or airborne targets through battlefield obscurants and in virtually all weather conditions.
 The AH-64D Longbow will feature improvements over the AH-64A in targeting, battle management, communications, weapons and navigation.
 The helicopter will have integrated advanced navigation, communication and weapon systems to provide unparalleled combat capabilities. Advanced systems integration and tactical situation displays will provide situational awareness, reduce exposure to hostile weapons and enhance survivability.
 AH-64D Longbow will have more advanced computers than the AH-64A, fully multiplexed high-speed data transfer capabilities, vapor cycle cooling, increased electrical power, and other enhancements that take advantage of technological developments in the past decade.
 AH-64D Longbow's terrain profiling feature enables the crew to navigate nap-of-the-earth with complete confidence. Sensor cueing to radar-detected targets and known locations allows precise pre-pointing of the Target Acquisition System for rapid target identification and destruction.
 Additionally, the Longbow radar frequency interferometer senses threats from any angle and alerts the crew to potential danger.
 The fire control radar permits rapid air threat awareness, which is necessary for self-defense.
 The AH-64D Longbow's design features enable crews to engage targets at standoff ranges while remaining undetected, thus enhancing survivability.
 -0- 5/14/92
 /CONTACT: Hal Klopper of McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co., 602-891-5519/
 (MD) CO: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. ST: Arizona IN: ARO SU:


AL -- LA029 -- 0311 05/14/92 14:14 EDT
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Date:May 14, 1992
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