MD Helicopters’ MD 540F armed scout helicopter made its debut at Heli-Expo this week in Las Vegas. The new model replaces its predecessor MD 530F’s Rolls-Royce 250-C30 turboshaft with the new M250-C47E, which offers dual-channel Fadec and boosts available rated takeoff power to 700 shp.
Allison Model 250
As the first new model introduced since Lynn Tilton’s Patriarch Partners bought MD Helicopters (MDHI) in 2005–and rescued the manufacturer from the brink of collapse–the MD 540F armed scout helicopter not only marks the continued evolution of a storied platform that traces its lineage back to the Hughes 500D. It also symbolizes renewed hope for the company’s future.
Rolls-Royce and Scott’s Bell 47 (SB47) have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore installing the RR300 turboshaft in the SB47 multipurpose light helicopter. Scott’s acquired the type certificate for the Model 47 from Bell Helicopter in 2010 and is currently supporting the helicopter and offering complete refurbishment and updates for the aircraft. The company’s ultimate goal is to place the helicopter back into production. An STC installation of the Rolls-Royce 250 in Bell 47s has been available since the 1970s.
Boeing’s Aviall has entered into an exclusive agreement with Rolls-Royce to support the RR300, the engine that powers the Robinson R66. The agreement runs through the first six months of 2022. Under the deal, Dallas-based Aviall will distribute RR300 new spare parts and modules, exchange material, exchange modules, RR300 kits, tooling and electronic publications and have responsibility for sales, marketing, forecasting, stocking, inventory, warranty processing and order fulfillment.
Aviall Services has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Rolls-Royce for parts, modules and tooling for the RR300 turboshaft used on the Robinson R66. Deliveries of the R66 have already passed the 150 mark; the helicopter manufacturer expects deliveries to peak at several hundred per year, with annual flight hours reaching nearly 900,000 by 2020.
Eagle Copters of Calgary, Alberta (Booth No. 3717) said development and testing of its Bell 407 HP engine-conversion program was proceeding and that the company expected Transport Canada and FAA approval next year. Mike Mallon, Eagle Copters director of maintenance, said the company had yet to set a price for the conversion, but was striving to keep costs down by using as many original 407 components as possible, including cowling inlets and drive shafts.
A 30-year-old MDMD 500D has been significantly upgraded by Phoenix Heliparts of Mesa, Az. The company customized the helicopter with an ‘E’ nose, air -conditioning and a complete Aerodynamix NVG package. The companyPhoenix Heliparts (Booth No. 1006) used the occasion of Heli-Expo (Booth No. 1006) to return the updated aircraftrotorcraft to its owner Wayne McCall. .
StandardAero is kicking off its 100th birthday celebration at this year’s Heli-Expo, marking milestones and accomplishments over the past 100 years, as well as some more recent achievements.
The first Enstrom 480B helicopters to be equipped with Powerline Detection Systems (PDS), which are designed and manufactured by Safe Flight Instrument (Booth No. 1615) of White Plains, N.Y., will soon be flying. Safe Flight has begun delivery of three such systems to Enstrom, which will install them on new 480Bs destined for the Royal Thai Army.
Last year AgustaWestland (AW) acquired a majority interest in Polish airframer PZL-Swidnik. The deal included Swidnik’s long-in-development SW-4 light turbine single, which was on display at this year’s Farnborough airshow. While an AW spokesman declined to reveal the helicopter’s price, the SW-4 is widely believed to sell for a base price near $1 million, with prices approaching double that figure for a well equipped model.