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FIRST PRODUCTION C-17 MAKES INAUGURAL FLIGHT

 FIRST PRODUCTION C-17 MAKES INAUGURAL FLIGHT
 LONG BEACH, Calif., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The first production


C-17, the second of the giant new U.S. Air Force airlifters to fly, lifted off here today on its inaugural flight to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
 The second C-17 aircraft, called P-1, produced for the Air Force by McDonnell Douglas, took off at 3:57 p.m. and landed at Edwards after a successful test flight of two hours and 21 minutes.
 The new aircraft joins T-1, the first C-17 test aircraft in the flight test program already under way at Edwards. To date, T-1 has flown 66 missions for a total of 208.5 flying hours.
 T-1 has successfully accomplished aerial refuelings with a KC-135 tanker, reached its limit speed of Mach .875, or 590 miles per hour, and climbed to an altitude of 40,000 feet. The first C-17 has landed in less than 2,000 feet and at a maximum weight of 478,000 pounds.
 The Air Force plans to acquire 120 of the transports, designed to carry large amounts of cargo and heavy vehicles directly to austere forward airfields. Three more production C-17s are scheduled to join T-1 and P-1 in the flight test program this year.
 The second production aircraft, P-2, is currently on the ramp being readied for flight later this spring.
 P-1's first flight was piloted by McDonnell Douglas test pilot Chuck Walls, with Air Force Maj. Ron McElroy, copilot; Bill Cannon, loadmaster; and Wayne Anselmo, flight test engineer.
 "We're extremely proud to have our first production aircraft flying and to recognize the progress shown by our teammates in quality and production efficiency," said David O. Swain, executive vice president of Douglas Aircraft Co.'s Government Segment.
 "All of us at McDonnell Douglas are dedicated to providing the Air Force the kind of airlift modernization that will significantly enhance our nation's ability to deploy forces," he said.
 The addition of the second C-17 to the flight test program at Edwards AFB means stepped-up activity for the Combined Test Force, that includes Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and McDonnell Douglas personnel.
 P-1's primary mission as "systems aircraft" in the flight test program will include ground and flight loads testing up to 100 percent of inflight loads the aircraft is designed to experience. Later in the test program, P-1 will be involved in acoustics and vibration testing, air delivery system and aerial refueling tests, and unpaved landing field operations and supportability.
 -0- 5/18/92
 /CONTACT: Larry McCracken, 310-522-2552, or Jim Ramsey 310-496-5027, both of Douglas Aircraft Co./ CO: McDonnell Douglas ST: California IN: ARO SU:


CH -- LA039 -- 1591 05/18/92 21:35 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 18, 1992
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