New models, new orders and of course, deliveries are what the excitement is all about at Heli-Expo 2014. MD Helicopters (Booth No. 6922) could celebrate a little of all that this week. Company CEO Lynn Tilton unveiled not just the existence of its new MD 530G armed aerial scout helicopter, but that it is flying and on the fast track to completion in the second quarter, with deliveries slated for the third quarter. The company is now taking orders for the $4- $5 million single-engine helicopter.
MD Helicopters MD 600
Quest Aviation Solutions has put plans to develop the Gulf region’s first locally-produced helicopter on ice to take up an opportunity to become sales distributor for MD Helicopters. In a deal announced here at the Dubai Airshow this week, Quest will be appointed as the U.S. manufacturer’s representative in the UAE. It is reviewing a project launched two years ago to begin local production of a Ukrainian-designed helicopter called AVQ.
A new airworthiness directive for the MD Helicopters MD500N, MD600N and MD900 requires determining the cure date for each Notar fan blade tension-torsion strap (T-T strap). The purpose is to establish a calendar-time retirement life, mark each T-T strap with the expiration date, create a component record card and revise the airworthiness limitations section of the maintenance manual.
The field of companies offering armed scout helicopters to the U.S. Army and other militaries has grown with the addition of MD Helicopters, which is proposing the MD 540F, an upgrade of its MD 530F light helicopter, equipped with a weapons management system from Israel’s Elbit Systems. The offering is based on the same airframe MD Helicopters supplies to Boeing for the AH-6i, which is also a competitor for the Army’s armed aerial scout (AAS) program.
Speaking of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract MD Helicopters signed last year, Lynn Tilton, CEO of Mesa, Arizona-based company, said, “That’s the highlight [of 2011], to serve those who serve for love of country. And it goes back to our roots of 1964, when Hughes Helicopter [predecessor of MD Helicopters] first won a military contract.” She made the comments at a Heli-Expo 2012 press conference in Dallas yesterday.
Rolls-Royce boosted availability of RR300 engine parts and customer services by signing an exclusive distribution agreement with AAR. According to Rolls-Royce Helicopter Engine business president Ken Roberts, the worldwide AAR group
will provide a turnkey solution for RR300 operators around the clock. The RR300 turboshaft has been selected by Robinson Helicopter to power its new R66 and
McDonnell Douglas MD 600, San Clemente, Calif., Feb. 19, 2009– The U.S. Customs and Border Protection MD 600 autorotated to a forced landing on the beach after the crew heard a loud “bang” and warning lights came on. A main rotor blade severed the tail boom. Examination of the engine showed that both engine chip detector plugs were contaminated with metal particles. The No. 4 turbine wheel was damaged.
The light at the end of the tunnel is not a train bearing down on MD Helicopters Inc., said chairman and CEO Henk Schaeken. Rather, it illuminates a return to profitability for the Mesa, Ariz. helicopter manufacturer. Problems with three major programs put strains on operations and finances last year.
A U.S. Customs MD 600N helicopter was damaged last month during the seizure of a half-ton of marijuana when a group threw rocks at the aircraft. The incident took place at the climax of a raid on a group of 13 men as they tried to smuggle the contraband using a raft to cross the Rio Grande River near McAllen, Texas.
MD Helicopters of Mesa, Ariz., said five MD 600Ns have exhibited cracks in the tailcone attachment area, and that an inspection bulletin is forthcoming to operators of the 53 aircraft currently flying. Concern over the cracks surfaced following the discovery of damage to the Notar-system tailcone attachment structure during a routine inspection of the MD 600N operated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department.
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