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C-17 COMPLETES 100 HOURS OF FLIGHT TEST

 C-17 COMPLETES 100 HOURS OF FLIGHT TEST
 EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The first


U.S. Air Force/McDonnell Douglas C-17 airlifter reached the 100-hour flight test milestone here today on its 35th mission and is on schedule in the two-year test program.
 "The airplane is giving us gold-medal performance," said Brig. Gen. Kenneth G. Miller, director of the C-17 System Program Office at the Air Force's Aeronautical Systems Division.
 The C-17 reached the 100-hour milestone slightly more than four months after its inaugural flight on Sept. 15. The flight today lasted two hours, and included aerodynamic damping investigations and airstarts using JP-4 fuel.
 During the first 100 hours, the C-17 reached a top speed of .83 Mach and flew to an altitude of 35,000 feet. Flying qualities have been demonstrated as low as 4,000 feet and at airspeeds as slow as 83 knots. Simulated engine-out approaches and go-arounds were performed by shutting down an engine on approach and restarting it in the air, using both JP-4 and JP-8 fuel.
 "The airplane flies very well," said Lt. Col. George G. London, Jr., C-17 test pilot at the 6517th Test Squadron at Edwards AFB. "You don't realize the size of the aircraft when flying it. It feels like a fighter."
 The first C-17 test aircraft, T-1, will continue flying qualities evaluations, including more structural and aerodynamic damping testing. Within the next 100 flight hours, the aircraft will begin preliminary air refueling testing behind a KC-135 or KC-10 aircraft.
 Meanwhile, at Douglas Aircraft Co.'s Long Beach, Calif., facility, the first two production aircraft, P-1 and P-2, have been painted and are undergoing final preparations before moving to the flight ramp to prepare for first flight.
 Prior to flying, the P-1 wing and other structural components have already been subjected to the limit design loads with test results correlating perfectly with engineering predictions, said Bob Eastin, business unit manager for structural integrity on the C-17 program.
 At the same time, static testing on one of two non-flying C-17s is being conducted which will eventually subject the C-17 airframe to 1 1/2 times the maximum structural loads it may encounter in flight. Some 350 actuators, each of which applies loads to the aircraft wing, landing gear and control surfaces, are being installed to an enormous test fixture which will actually bend and twist the aircraft.
 Rigging of flight controls has been completed on P-2, which is currently undergoing on-aircraft test procedures of the mechanical backup system for flight controls.
 Work is currently underway, in various stages, at the Douglas plant on 10 production aircraft. The first four production C-17s will join T-1, the first flight test aircraft, in the two-year flight test program at Edwards AFB.
 -0- 1/17/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Ramsey of Douglas Aircraft Co., 213-496-5027/ CO: Douglas Aircraft Co. ST: California IN: ARO SU:


SE-JL -- LA027 -- 1223 01/17/92 20:56 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 17, 1992
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