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FIRST PRODUCTION SATCOM SYSTEM DEMONSTRATED FOR MD-11

 LONG BEACH, Calif., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Flashing a message half way around the world through an orbiting relay station, McDonnell Douglas has successfully demonstrated the first satellite communications installation on a production MD-11 trijet.
 A brief test signal went out from Japan Airlines' first MD-11 at Yuma, Ariz., at 3:22 p.m. on Aug. 31, going through a satellite over the Pacific Ocean to the airline flight operations base in Tokyo. It read, "Hello ... we are sending a message from Douglas Flight Test Base in Yuma, Arizona." Seven minutes later, the acknowledgement came from Tokyo: "Duly received your following message ... ," repeating the words to confirm accurate transmission.
 JAL's No. 1 MD-11 was in Yuma for part of its extensive pre-delivery flight testing. Demonstration of the satellite communications system was the final check required to formally commission that capability for operation through the international INMARSAT network of orbital relay stations. The system was used repeatedly in flight tests the next day.
 The MD-11 satcom equipment is provided by Honeywell/Racal. The system transmits and receives satellite signals through a small dome- like antenna built by Canadian Marconi Co., installed on top of the aircraft fuselage just forward of the wing.
 Operating through the INMARSAT network of satellites orbiting above the equator, the system provides an immediate link between the aircraft in flight and ground stations anywhere in the world.
 When JAL begins revenue operations with its MD-11s early next year, the satcom system will be used primarily to enhance maintenance functions on the aircraft. A steady stream of systems operating data will flow from the MD-11 via satellite to maintenance stations. Then mechanics can meet the aircraft on arrival, ready to correct any mechanical discrepancy reported while in flight over any part of the world.
 Knowing each aircraft's maintenance needs in advance will shorten time on the ground, reduce departure delays and provide vital cost savings for the operator.
 Satcom systems have been put into service recently on MD-11s flown by Swissair, but the JAL aircraft is the first production-line satcom installation to be used. Other airlines to be equipped with satcom capability on MD-11s are Finnair, China Airlines, EVA Airways, and Martinair.
 -0- 9/20/93
 /CONTACT: Don Hanson, Douglas Aircraft Company, 310-593-4710/


CO: Douglas Aircraft Co. ST: California IN: ARO SU:

EH-JB -- LA040 -- 3855 09/20/93 16:50 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 20, 1993
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