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C-17 FLIGHT TESTING ACCELERATES

 C-17 FLIGHT TESTING ACCELERATES
 EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S.


Air Force/McDonnell Douglas (NYSE: MD) C-17 fleet set a new single- month flight test mark in August of 101.6 hours, exceeding the previous best month total of 71.7 hours set in July.
 Another major C-17 milestone was reached on Aug. 29, when T-1, the first C-17 test aircraft delivered to the Air Force, flew its 100th test mission since delivery on Sept. 15, 1991. In addition, a new unrefueled, endurance mark for the C-17 of 8.1 hours was set on Aug. 25.
 There are currently three C-17s in the flight test program: T-1 and the first two production aircraft, called P-1 and P-2.
 "The flight test pace is accelerating. We've averaged 86.7 hours per month for the past two months," said David O. Swain, McDonnell Douglas' executive vice president for transport aircraft. "In the past year, we averaged more flights and flying hours per month than any large transport or bomber aircraft program in recent Air Force flight test history. We should see further increases with the imminent delivery of P-3 to the flight test program."
 During the busy month of August, the C-17 troop doors were opened in flight for the first time on T-1. And, using only 1,200 feet of runway, T-1 took off with a gross weight of 350,000 pounds despite temperatures of 100 degrees. Inflight airflow inside T-1 with the cargo, ramp and troop doors open was also evaluated. P-2 conducted its first aerial refueling tests, as well as engine performance mapping and cruise performance testing.
 T-1 has now recorded 326.0 flying hours since its inaugural flight. P-2 has flown 81.5 hours during 21 missions, while P-1 has recorded 52.3 hours in 14 flights. Flying hours to date for the C-17 fleet total 459.8.
 Preflight testing has begun on P-3 at Long Beach, Calif., in preparation for taxi tests and first flight.
 The McDonnell Douglas C-17 transport is designed to fulfill the airlift needs of the armed forces by carrying large combat equipment and troops or humanitarian aid to forward, austere airfields anywhere in the world.
 The Air Force plans to buy 120 C-17s, providing an operational capability well into the next century.
 -0- 9/1/92
 /CONTACT: Lawrence L. McCracken of McDonnell Douglas Transport Aircraft, 310-522-2552/
 (MD) CO: McDonnell Douglas Transport Aircraft ST: California IN: ARO SU:


LS-JL -- LA026 -- 5659 09/01/92 18:12 EDT
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Date:Sep 1, 1992
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