MD Helicopters launched the 540F today. A variant of the 530F turbine single, the new helicopter’s six composite main rotor blades and fully articulated main rotor system will enable it to meet the military’s high/hot benchmark of operating in conditions of 95 degrees F and 6,000 feet msl.
MD CEO Lynn Tilton said the new variant is “a real game-changer for our company.” She also said that the new helicopter will be available for both the commercial and military markets–the latter as a scout/gunship–and will include a full suite of glass-panel avionics and more robust landing gear. Power will continue to come from a Rolls-Royce 250 turboshaft.
Preliminary specifications call for the 540F to have a maximum takeoff weight of 4,100 pounds with external load/weaponry; useful load of 2,000 pounds; hover in ground effect at 16,000 feet and out of ground effect at 14,300 feet; Vne 152 knots; 232-nm range; and 20,000-foot service ceiling. Certification is expected in the first quarter of next year.