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Super98 announces MD-80 drag reduction success

Super98 has reported the successful flight testing of the Phase I Drag Reduction Kit for MD-80 family aircraft that it has designed, tested and validated.

Super98 is a private firm staffed principally by experienced former Douglas Aircraft executives and engineers. The company is fully licensed by the Boeing Company to design and fabricate parts for the McDonnell Douglas family of twinjets.

Over the past two years, Super98 has been active in the development of drag reduction concepts for the Douglas twinjets which include the MD-80, MD-90 and the Boeing 717 (which was originally announced as the MD-95), many of which are used by low-fare carriers. Most recently, Super98’s primary focus has been to validate the effectiveness of the Phase I Drag Reduction configuration developed to reduce fuel consumption.

The net effect will be to extend the economic life of the MD-80. The cost effective Phase I Drag Reduction design for this aircraft has now been established, not only analytically with validation via computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools but also confirmed in a now completed flight test programme.

The testing was conducted on a fully instrumented MD-83, validating the design goal of a 3.5% fuel burn improvement. The MD-80 Phase I Kit contains components designed by Super98 including several with Boeing Service Bulletin origins for which Super98 is a licensed Part Manufacturing Authority (PMA).

The Phase I Drag Reduction Kit is now being offered to global MD-80 operators in three sub-kits to facilitate efficient overnight installation. An STC for the Drag Reduction Kit is scheduled for the second quarter of 2011 with kit deliveries beginning in the third quarter of the year.

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