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C-17 MARKS ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY; FLEET SURPASSES 500-HOUR MARK

 C-17 MARKS ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY; FLEET SURPASSES 500-HOUR MARK
 EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The one- year anniversary of the first flight of the U.S. Air Force C-17 airlifter was observed here yesterday as the C-17 flight test fleet surpassed the 500-hour mark.
 All four C-17s currently in the flight test program flew simultaneous missions Tuesday. This marks the first day all four aircraft have been in the air at the same time.
 The first C-17, called T-1 for Test Aircraft One, flew its inaugural flight on Sept. 15, 1991. T-1 flew its 104th mission Tuesday, a 4.3 hour flight for a total of 338.4 flight hours. P-1, the first production C-17, and P-2, the second production aircraft, also flew Tuesday. P-1 recorded 3.8 hours and P-2, 5.4 hours. P-3, which was delivered on Sept. 7, recorded 5.7 hours yesterday. Flight test hours for the four-aircraft fleet totaled 511.1 hours after yesterday's missions.
 "We believe that remarkable progress has been made in the C-17 program during the past 12 months, both in production and flight testing," said David O. Swain, senior vice president of McDonnell Douglas' (NYSE: MD) transport aircraft unit.
 "One year ago today there were zero aircraft delivered. Today six C-17s have been delivered (four in flight test and two ground test aircraft)," Swain said. "A year ago, the flight test program had not begun. Today we have four aircraft in the flight test program and more than 500 hours of flying time. A year ago, our production was at a rate of less than three aircraft per year -- today we have established a rate of six per year," he added.
 The U.S. Air Force concurs with Swain's assessment of the flight test program. "The C-17 flight test program is a continuing success story," said Brig. Gen. Kenneth Miller, director, C-17 System Program Office. "As has been testified in Congress, the program has flown more flight test hours in fewer days than any other large test aircraft in Air Force history."
 Recent accomplishments in the C-17 test program include the first landing on an unimproved surface -- the dry lake bed at Edwards AFB -- by P-3 after its inaugural flight; and the longest flight to date -- 8.3 hours unrefueled on a mission flown by P-2 on Sept. 4.
 -0- 9/16/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Ramsey of Transport Aircraft, 310-522-2567, for McDonnell Douglas/
 (MD) CO: McDonnell Douglas ST: California IN: ARO SU:


JB -- LA029 -- 0297 09/16/92 16:24 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 16, 1992
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