Time Capsule

MD-80 UDF

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CAPTION; Display model of McDonnell Douglas MD-80 flight test aircraft shows General Electric Company (USA) unducted fan (UDF) engine installed on left side of the aircraft in place of one of its two turbofan power plants. Under an agreement between the two companies, this configuration has been developed for a full-scale UDF/MD-80 flight test program planned for early 1987. An engineering team led by McDonnell Douglas, and including engineers from Aeritalia of Italy and the Shanghai Aircraft Industrial Corporation of the People's Republic of China, are doing research and testing leading up to the flight demonstration. The UDF combines jet engine technology with new, highly swept and contoured fans to produce a very efficient propulsion system called UHB (Ultra High Bypass). If the flight demonstration and other tests are successful, McDonnell Douglas engineers believe UHB-powered short-to-medium range aircraft that reduce fuel consumption up to 50 percent compared to current jetliners, could be in airline service in the early 1990s.

For more UDF pictures of the actual demonstrator, see my Time Capsule Photo Gallery.

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