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FIRST 'NON-FLYING' C-17 MOVES TO STATIC TEST

 FIRST 'NON-FLYING' C-17 MOVES TO STATIC TEST
 LONG BEACH, Calif., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The first of two "non-


flying" U.S. Air Force C-17 test aircraft that will undergo exhaustive ground tests at McDonnell Douglas' (NYSE: MD) facilities here is being prepared for static testing that will last nearly two years.
 The static test aircraft was moved recently from the C-17 assembly building to the test facility and placed within a massive steel frame-like fixture.
 "We plan to start testing the first ultimate load condition in late December," said Roland Cassar, business unit manager for C-17 structural testing. The static program is expected to be completed in 1993.
 "The ultimate load the static test aircraft will be exposed to is 1-1/2 times the maximum load that the aircraft is expected to experience," Cassar explained. Loads applied to the aircraft structure by hydraulic actuators will determine if the C-17 can withstand these loadings without failure, he said.
 Examples of extreme conditions that might be encountered in actual operation include exceptionally high levels of turbulence, steady and abrupt maneuvers, aerial delivery of heavy payloads, landings at descent rates far above normal, and pullouts following high speed dives, Cassar explained.
 Normal loading conditions include loads due to routine taxi, takeoff, climb, cruise, descent and landing.
 A second ground test aircraft will begin durability tests during the first quarter of next year. This aircraft will be tested to determine if its structure can endure the loads encountered during two service lifetimes without structural failures.
 In addition, systems such as the control surfaces and landing gear are undergoing static and durability testing separately at Douglas Aircraft Co. and subcontractor facilities, Cassar said.
 Meanwhile, the first USAF/McDonnell Douglas flight test aircraft completed its 15th mission at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Oct. 30, logging a total of 28.8 flying hours. The flight test program continues on schedule with the aircraft performing up to expectations, according to Air Force and McDonnell Douglas officials.
 -0- 11/1/91
 /CONTACT: Jim Ramsey of Douglas Aircraft Co., 213-496-5027/
 (MD) CO: Douglas Aircraft Co. ST: California IN: ARO SU: AL -- LA010 -- 0227 11/01/91 12:24 EST
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Date:Nov 1, 1991
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