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C-17 FLIGHT TEST FLEET TOPS 3,000 FLYING HOUR MARK

 EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Air Force/McDonnell Douglas C-17 flight test fleet has surpassed the 3,000 hour flying mark as the versatile new transport continued to demonstrate its capabilities both in test and in its operational unit.
 Through April 16, C-17s of the combined test force had logged 3,067 flight hours on 816 missions. Meanwhile, C-17s of the 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., had recorded 822 hours flying 104 missions.
 On April 5 and again on April 12, P-1, the first production aircraft, demonstrated the accuracy of the C-17's ability to conduct low-velocity airdrops with five containers landing well within the specified drop target radius.
 On April 8 at Charleston Air Force Base, two C-17s from the 437th Airlift Wing -- the first operational C-17 unit -- completed formation aerial refueling missions for the first time and repeated the exercise on April 13. Aerial refueling capability was cleared, or "released," to Charleston flight crews after required flight test milestones at Edwards were successfully met.
 In the latest Charleston missions, P-11, the 11th and newest C-17, and P-10, the 10th production aircraft, joined up for aerial refueling by a KC-10 tanker-transport. P-11 was delivered to Charleston on April 8 and made its first in-squadron operation (ISO) flight on Wednesday. P-11 flew two sorties totaling 10.2 hours, while P-10 flew two sorties for 9.9 hours.
 "P-11 is, by far, the best C-17 we've received to date," said Lt. Gen. Malcolm (Mac) Armstrong, commander of the Air Mobility Command's 21st Air Force, based at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. The general took the controls during P-11's ferry flight to Charleston from Long Beach, Calif., where the C-17 is built.
 "Each C-17 has been better than the previous one with significant gains in quality. P-11 handled very well for a big aircraft," Gen. Armstrong said. "The flight controls feel as solid as any I've ever flown, including many fighters, among them the (McDonnell Douglas) F-15."
 C-17s of the 437th Airlift Wing are flown and maintained by air crews of the wing's 17th Airlift Squadron (ALS) and also by members of the 315th Airlift Wing (Associate) U.S. Air Force Reserve, also based at Charleston Air Force Base. During the past week, 18 C-17 missions totaling 89.2 flight hours were scheduled -- the most ambitious flying schedule since the C-17 first arrived at the base in June 1993.
 -0- 4/19/94
 /CONTACT: Jim Ramsey of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, 310-522-2567/


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

JP-LS -- LA049 -- 8228 04/19/94 16:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 19, 1994
Words:437
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