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FINAL ASSEMBLY OF FIRST MD-90 TWIN JET BEGINS

 FINAL ASSEMBLY OF FIRST MD-90 TWIN JET BEGINS
 LONG BEACH, Calif., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Final assembly of the


first McDonnell Douglas (NYSE: MD) MD-90-30 twin jet has started, with the joining of the airplane's wing and fuselage at the Douglas Aircraft Company's production facilities here.
 The major milestone was reached ahead of schedule, when workers loaded the wing of the first test aircraft into a modular-style, single- position tooling and leveled it before lowering the center fuselage onto it for joining. The nearly 108-foot-long wing was produced by Douglas' Canadian operation in Toronto and the fuselage section came from the company's Salt Lake City facility.
 In mid March, the test aircraft's aft section is due to be joined with the center fuselage. Complete assembly of the airplane is scheduled for November this year, with first flight in early 1993.
 MD-90-30 production aircraft will begin going down the same assembly line as the current MD-80 jetliners in the fall of 1993. Inital deliveries to customers are targeted for the fourth quarter of 1994.
 Key to operating this shared line is a novel modular concept for producing major fuselage sections. Fuselage module sections will be built up as major subassemblies and then brought together with wings and other segments to produce unique aircraft.
 Besides speeding up production times and reducing costs, the modular approach offers more flexibility, assuring quick use of new technologies and innovations to satisfy airline customers.
 McDonnell Douglas launched the MD-90 family of twin jets in November 1989, based on orders from Delta Air Lines. Other customers include Alaska Airlines, GATX, Great China, and Japan Air System.
 This launch was in response to customer requirements for an economical, pro-environment aircraft with proven reliability.
 MD-90s are advanced mid-size, medium-range airliners, designed to serve the needs of travelers in the 1990s and into the 21st century. These new models are expected to extend twin-jet production at Douglas Aircraft through the decade and well beyond.
 First in the series, the MD-90-30 will be capable of carrying 153 passengers, mixed-class, approximately 2,400 nautical miles. The airplane's maximum takeoff weight will be 156,000 pounds, and its increased fuselage length of 152.7 feet gives carriers up to 1,343 cubic feet of lower-deck cargo space.
 As airline needs evolve, Douglas plans other variants including the MD-90-50 and MD-90-55. Like the MD-90-30, they will be powered by the International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500, the most advanced, fuel- efficient, quiet turbofan in its class. All three models offer technology advancements and comfortable five-abreast seating.
 -0- 3/4/92
 /CONTACT: Warren Lamb of Douglas Aircraft Company, 310-593-3269/
 (MD) CO: McDonnell Douglas ST: California IN: ARO AIR SU:


CH -- LA035 -- 5087 03/04/92 16:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 4, 1992
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