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McDONNELL DOUGLAS DELTA CLIPPER TO FLY AGAIN

 LAS CRUCES, N.M., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The world aerospace community will focus its attention on the testing grounds of White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) here on Saturday, Sept. 11, when McDonnell Douglas conducts the first formal test flight of the Delta Clipper Experimental (DC-X) rocket.
 Developed for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) Single Stage Rocket Technology Program, the 42-foot-tall, bullet-shaped DC-X is a one-third scale prototype of a single-stage, vertical-takeoff and landing vehicle.
 Saturday's test will demonstrate the DC-X's flight controllability and overall system performance. The vehicle will take off vertically and hover at an altitude of 300 feet. The vehicle then will move laterally in a straight line 350 feet and land vertically.
 In an earlier successful hover test of the vehicle on Aug. 18, the DC-X took off and vertically hovered at 150 feet, moved sideways in a straight line 350 feet and descended vertically, touching down on the landing pad. The entire flight sequence lasted 60 seconds.
 Paul Klevatt, McDonnell Douglas DC-X program manager, said the test demonstrated that the DC-X's guidance, navigation and control system are ready to support the upcoming flight test program.
 That test program will involve a series of suborbital flights designed to verify vertical takeoff and landing; demonstrate subsonic maneuverability; validate "airplane-like" supportability and maintainability; and demonstrate the rapid prototyping development approach.
 According to Pete Conrad, McDonnell Douglas flight manager, "With the ground and hover testing completed to date, we've met over 60 percent of the critical test objectives the program set out to demonstrate."
 Conrad said the upcoming flight series will follow standard aircraft flight test practices by using a process of gradual flight envelope expansion at higher altitudes and dynamic pressures.
 -0- 9/9/93
 /CONTACT: Anne C. McCauley or Evelyn Smith of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, 714-896-6211, or 714-896-1700/


CO: McDonnell Douglas Aerospace ST: New Mexico IN: ARO SU:

JB-EH -- LA011 -- 0259 09/09/93 11:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 9, 1993
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