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McDONNELL DOUGLAS RESPONDS TO LOS ANGELES TIMES ARTICLE

 McDONNELL DOUGLAS RESPONDS TO LOS ANGELES TIMES ARTICLE
 ST. LOUIS, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- McDonnell Douglas (NYSE: MD) today issued the following statement regarding the Sept. 24 Los Angeles Times article entitled, "Serious Flaws Found in Douglas' Troubled C-17":
 The C-17 wings are sound. There are no safety of flight issues associated with the riveting processes used in their production. We find it particularly offensive that anyone would charge that we would do anything to endanger the lives of the aircrews and passengers who fly our products. We have a proud lineage of building sound, strong military aircraft. The C-17 is living up to that reputation.
 Expansion of rivets increases the durability of an aircraft's wing. The C-17 wing was designed for twice the service life of the aircraft (60,000 hours vs. 30,000 hours) independent of any expansion. Rivet expansion adds to that service life.
 Two years ago there were unproven allegations of potential problems caused by under-expansion of rivets. These allegations were investigated by McDonnell Douglas, the Air Force and other government agencies and proven to be false.
 Now we understand a draft Department of Defense Inspector General's report


raises questions about over-expanded rivets. Records show that there was a minor problem of over-expansion on one aircraft (P-4). In that instance only about one-fourth of 1 percent of 44,000 rivets were found to be slightly above process expansion tolerances. We conducted an immediate analysis of the test data and found there were no detrimental effects of these minor instances over-expansion. If there had been, the rivets would have been taken out and the holes rebored and fixed.
 As for the other charges reported today in the Los Angeles Times;
 -- There has never been a fuel leak caused by a machine-installed fastener. Fuel leaks were production process problems which have been corrected.
 -- The durability ground test article is representative of the C-17 wing assembly process. It will be tested to two times the service life of the aircraft (60,000 hours).
 There are currently four C-17s in flight test at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. They have flown more than 560 hours since the C-17's first flight just a little more than a year ago. This rigorous flight test program has not discovered any abnormal problems that will require any major design or production changes to the C-17.
 We are confident that the C-17 will provide the modernized, rapid deployment airlift capabilities that our nation needs well into the 21st century.
 -0- 9/24/92
 /CONTACT: Larry McCracken of McDonnell Douglas Government Aerospace, 310-522-2552/
 (MD) CO: McDonnell Douglas ST: Missouri IN: ARO SU:


KJ -- LA024 -- 3357 09/24/92 19:22 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 24, 1992
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