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C-17 EXCEEDS 50 HOURS IN FLIGHT TEST PROGRAM

 C-17 EXCEEDS 50 HOURS IN FLIGHT TEST PROGRAM
 EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The first


U.S. Air Force/McDonnell Douglas C-17 airlifter exceeded the 50-hour mark in its flight test program Wednesday, completing its 23rd mission at the USAF test facility here.
 Wednesday's flight, the longest duration flight to date, lasted 4.7 hours bringing total flying time to 54.5 hours. The C-17 test aircraft has averaged more than two flights per week since its inaugural flight on Sept. 15.
 On its latest test flight, the combined Air Force/McDonnell Douglas (NYSE: MD) test crew continued to expand the flight envelope, increasing the flying speed to 300 knots from the previous maximum of 250 knots.
 C-17 flight test has now moved into its second phase, with the beginning of structural and aerodynamics damping investigations, according to John Cook, general manager, C-17 flight test for McDonnell Douglas. These tests, an important part of a new aircraft test program, are designed to verify the C-17's structural stability.
 The first phase of the program has involved basic airworthiness testing including evaluation of basic flying qualities of the aircraft below 250 knots and 20,000-foot altitudes at various flap and slat configurations, airspeed system calibrations, and conducting a number of landing approaches.
 Tests have also included airstarts using JP-4 and JP-8 fuel, simulated engine failures and fuel system and cabin pressurization checks.
 The airworthiness and qualification flight tests currently underway will be followed by cargo loading and unloading, troop transport, airdrop of cargo and personnel, and supportability testing.
 The first C-17 will be joined in the two-year flight test program by four additional aircraft during 1992, with testing conducted by a combined test force that includes Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and McDonnell Douglas personnel.
 -0- 12/5/91
 /CONTACT: Jim Ramsey of McDonnell Douglas Aircraft, 310-496-5027/
 (MD) CO: U.S. Air Force; McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company ST: California IN: ARO SU:


EH -- LA033 -- 9885 12/05/91 17:36 EST
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Date:Dec 5, 1991
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