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MD EXPLORER CONTINUES IN TEST PROGRAM; VISIONED AS TOP-RANK EMS HELICOPTER

 ST. LOUIS, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- With two aircraft flying in a rapidly expanding test program, McDonnell Douglas enters the final year before certification of the MD Explorer eight-place, twin-engine helicopter.
 Results to date: Full speed ahead to certification.
 The first helicopters to be delivered will be used in emergency medical service, a field that the MD Explorer is expected to dominate.
 "The helicopter is exceptionally well suited for work requiring precision flying in confined spaces," said Clark Wirthlin, McDonnell Douglas marketing manager for the MD Explorer. "The exceptional visibility for the pilot and the spacious cabin for patient and technicians provides an ideal environment for emergency medical service."
 Additionally, the MD Explorer makes exclusive use of McDonnell Douglas' patented NOTAR(R) system for anti-torque and directional control. "That factor alone gives the MD Explorer a significant advantage over other helicopters," Wirthlin said.
 "Not having an exposed tail rotor opens new landing options to helicopter pilots," he said. "Besides the added dimensions of safety, the aircraft will be one of the quietest flying anywhere."
 The MD Explorer's sister aircraft, the MD 520N, which also uses the NOTAR system, is registered with the Federal Aviation Administration as the quietest helicopter flying.
 The spacious 172.5 cubic feet (4.89 cu/m) aft cabin measures 4.75 feet (1.44 m) wide, room for two stretchers and accompanying medical technicians. Stretcher access to the cabin is through 50-inch sliding side doors or an aft door under the tail boom.
 The first aircraft flew in December 1992, followed by ship No. 2 in September 1993. An additional helicopter will join the test fleet this year followed by a third test aircraft, three demonstrator aircraft and several customer deliveries in 1994.
 Among other accomplishments, ship No. 1 has proven the aircraft's ability to fly at high speeds and at high altitude. Both ships will be thoroughly evaluated to ensure the helicopter meets the FAA's strict standards for handling and safety.
 The certification process is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 1994, with first deliveries following soon afterward.
 -0- 10/4/93
 /CONTACT: Ken Jensen, McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems, 602-891-2119/


CO: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems ST: Missouri IN: AIR ARO SU:

JB-JL -- LA033 -- 8560 10/04/93 17:20 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 4, 1993
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