Dugan to start second round of MD-80 reverser tests

Phoenix
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Dugan Kinetics will start the second phase of testing for its new EP-80 ejector thrust reverser designed for the Boeing MD-80 in May as it targets certification before the end of the year.

Tests of the EP-80 concluded in December show a flight profile fuel burn reduction of 5-10% depending on the profile, and a 9.5% savings from brake to climb.

A second round of tests is about to start in Washington state, says marketing director Jack Dugan. Speaking at the MRO Americas exhibition in Phoenix, Dugan added that MD-80 operator SAS wants to observe the next round of tests, which are simultaneous with the effort to gain a US supplemental type certificate. Approval is expected late this year.

After functionality and performance testing of the EP-80 ejector was completed in December, the test aircraft was flown to the bases of major MD-80 operator American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Dallas at the carrier's request. American operates almost 260 MD-80s.

duggan kinetics md-80 reverse thruster duggan kinetics
 © Dugan Kinetics

Dugan says the company expects to have a letter of intent signed with an operator to purchase the EP-80 ejector in roughly 60 days.

The technology developed by Dugan encompasses a new thrust reverser featuring doors used as an ejector during flight, which allows for an increase in thrust while keeping aircraft weight constant. Fuel savings are achieved through mixing ambient airflow with jet exhaust to increase thrust while increasing fuel savings through cruise and climb.

Installation of the kits takes roughly 12 man hours, says Dugan, who adds that the target is to deliver 25 sets this year. Dugan Kinetics has held extensive talks with Nordam and Triumph regarding partnerships to manufacture the EP-80, says Dugan, but no firm agreements are in place.