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McDONNELL DOUGLAS AWARDED ASTOVL DEMONSTRATION CONTRACT

 ST. LOUIS, March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- McDonnell Douglas (NYSE: MD) has been selected for Phase II of the Advanced Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (ASTOVL) aircraft technology demonstration program.
 The three-year, $27.7 million contract was one of two awarded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Under the contract, a team led by McDonnell Douglas Aerospace will develop and build a full-scale wind tunnel model with an operating gas-coupled lift fan and engine. Testing will take place at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Ames Research Center in California, beginning in early 1995.
 The McDonnell Douglas-led team includes as principal members both British Aerospace and General Electric Aircraft Engines.
 The McDonnell Douglas program is structured to validate a gas- coupled propulsive-lift concept, identify other critical technologies and demonstrate operational aircraft affordability. In Phase III, an ASTOVL technology demonstrator will be built to further reduce risks involved in applying such designs to future aircraft such as the Short takeoff/vertical landing Strike Fighter (SSF). The SSF is intended to enter U.S. Naval service around the year 2010. It also has potential applications with the United Kingdom's Royal Navy.
 ASTOVL requirements include short takeoff and vertical landing performance, low-observable features, and supersonic flight without using engine afterburning. Projected ASTOVL missions include deck- launched intercept, close air support and combat air patrol.
 The McDonnell Douglas design is equipped with a single General Electric YF120 derivative engine. To provide lift in the STOVL mode, the engine exhaust will be vectored with nozzles similar to those used on the AV-8B Harrier II. The engine also will power a fuselage- mounted fan by routing compressed air from the engine exhaust.
 "Our proposal to ARPA reflects five years of work in flight controls, materials, propulsion, aerodynamics, and low-cost manufacturing technologies," said Dick Martens, ASTOVL program manager. "Because ARPA's request for proposal placed as much emphasis on affordability as it did on technical parameters, we will apply our team's expertise in integrated product definition to make development and construction as cost efficient as possible."
 After successful completion of this phase of the ASTOVL project, ARPA plans to select one contractor to build two flying demonstrators from a single design powered by either a gas- or shaft-coupled propulsion system. That phase of the program is designed to prove the overall technical concept and potential combat applications.
 "The McDonnell Douglas team brings extensive fighter/attack and carrier suitability experience to the ASTOVL program," said Jim Sinnett, vice president and general manager of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace's New Aircraft and Missile Products Division. "In addition, in the AV-8B Harrier II, McDonnell Douglas and British Aerospace developed and built an operational aircraft capable of vertical and short takeoff and landing.
 "That experience, coupled with expertise in low-cost prototyping and manufacturing developed in McDonnell Douglas' Phantom Works, makes us confident the McDonnell Douglas ASTOVL team can deliver a highly successful demonstrator," he said.
 In the first phase of the ASTOVL program, contracts were issued to engine companies to develop propulsion concepts. That phase has been completed.
 -0- 3/16/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Schlueter of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, 314-233-6232/
 (MD)


CO: McDonnell Douglas ST: Missouri IN: ARO SU: CON

JB -- LA031 -- 6799 03/16/93 18:10 EST
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Date:Mar 16, 1993
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