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C-17 WINS NAA AWARD FOR RECORD PAYLOAD FLIGHTS

 WASHINGTON, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The new C-17 Globemaster III's record-setting payload flights were recognized here this week as the National Aeronautical Association (NAA) presented one of its "Top Ten Most Memorable Flights" awards for 1992 to the U.S. Air Force and McDonnell Douglas (NYSE: MD).
 The NAA award recognized the C-17's setting of 14 payload-to- altitude records on Dec. 16 and Dec. 18, 1992 as one of the "Top Ten." On those dates, a C-17 -- flying a normal test mission evaluating heavyweight cruise performance -- set 12 records in two weight categories by lifting more than 133,000 pounds to an altitude of 35,213 feet.
 In addition, the C-17 set two records for carrying the heaviest payload -- more than 67,177 pounds -- to 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) in these weight categories, breaking previous records held by a Tupolov Backfire bomber from the former Soviet Union.
 Praising the two Air Force pilots who flew the record breaking missions -- Capt. John Norton and Capt. Pam Melroy -- Brig. Gen. Kenneth G. Miller, director of the C-17 Systems Program Office, called them "the tip of a very large iceberg representing more than 25,000 Americans working and struggling through the development process of a major new aircraft.
 "If the U.S. intends to continue to be a world power, the C-17 is absolutely essential to our ability to deploy forces or relief supplies to any spot on the globe and do it in short order," Miller said.
 "The awards received tonight are just another demonstration of the tremendous capability that this aircraft will bring not only to the Air Force but the nation as a whole. As we look ahead through the remainder of this century into the next century, the C-17 is going to provide the global reach which will allow the U.S. to be a global power," Miller said following the awards ceremony.
 The C-17 "has tremendous capability," he added, and "we haven't even scratched the surface of its record-setting ability."
 Melroy added, "For any pilot, it has to be a thrill to be flying an airplane that's capable of setting a world record ... to know that you're flying an aircraft that's out-performing the other airplanes out there."
 In accepting the award for McDonnell Douglas, Ron Sable, vice president of business development for the Transport Aircraft unit, commented: "When you think about where the award was given -- in the National Air and Space Museum -- and the level of award recipients over the years, and the fact this was accomplished so early in the program -- I think it's fantastic."
 The record-setting flights were set by P-2, the second production C-17. Since then, another C-17, P-4, the fourth production aircraft, carried more than 160,000 pounds of Marine Corps equipment more than 2,400 nautical miles in a flight from California to Florida and on a return flight, demonstrating its operational capability.
 To date, McDonnell Douglas has delivered six flying C-17s to the Air Force. The combined test fleet has amassed more than 1,100 hours on some 300 flights, and has begun missions system testing with parachute loads. Two of the aircraft are undergoing climatic and electromagnetic radiation testing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and Patuxent River, Md., Naval Air Warfare Center.
 The C-17 -- with its unique ability to carry large, outsized equipment over intercontinental distances and land at small, forward airfields with runways as short as 3,000 feet -- combines in one aircraft the best capabilities of the current airlifters.
 -0- 3/25/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Ramsey of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, 310-522-2567/
 (MD)


CO: McDonnell Douglas Aerospace ST: District of Columbia IN: ARO SU:

BP -- LA031 -- 9841 03/25/93 18:01 EST
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Date:Mar 25, 1993
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