MD Helicopters is busy modernizing and rebranding aircraft for both its military and civil markets. Parts and service have also been brought in-house.
Details of two projects were revealed at a recent Heli-Expo Convention:
- The MD 6XX that has familiar features of the MD 600N, a fast, powerful machine recognized for its agility and smooth ride. The MD 600N is also one of the quietest and safest helicopters ever made, and it is used for a variety of purposes from executive transport and law enforcement, to aerial survey, and utility operations, and light observation military missions. It flies faster than most other helicopters and is able to hover higher, making it hugely versatile.
- The MD 969, a highly modernized makeover of the MD 902 Explorer that boasts low operating costs coupled with high performance and dependability. Like the MD 600N, the MD 902 Explorer attracts operators in all market segments from search and rescue, air medical, and law enforcement, to executive transport, as well as utility and offshore operations. Safety is a primary factor and its crash-worthiness capabilities are greater than any other light- or medium-twin helicopter currently in the air.
The New MD 6XX
Displayed in an aeromedical configuration, the MD Helicopters’ MD 6XX mock-up was unveiled at the convention. It has the same shape fuselage as the MD 600N, but a lot is different. For instance:
- Instead of a no-tail rotor anti-torque system (NOTAR) the helicopter has a four-bladed aft rotor with rotor blades supplied by HTC, and resized stabilizers.
- It features boosted flight controls and composite fuselage panels.
- The cockpit is supplied by Genesys.
- It boasts a single Rolls-Royce M250-C34E2 turbo-shaft engine rather than a single-turbine engine.
According to Lynn Tilton who founded Patriarch Partners that owns MD Helicopters, the redesigned, rebranded MD 6XX will have a maximum takeoff weight of about 2,500 kg/5,500 lb. It will have a maximum speed of 160 kt, four-hour endurance, and a range of 500 nm. Aimed at foreign military customers, certification is expected to be complete by the end of 2018, although Tilton says it might in fact take another year of testing.
The New MD 969
Re-imagined and significantly modernized, the light-twin engine MD 902 Explorer will be rebranded as the MD 969. Complete certification is scheduled for June this year (2017), about four years later than originally expected.
The new MD 969 also features the Genesys system, and it will have an upgraded Canadian Pratt & Whitney PW206E engine with four-axis autopilot.
Remarkably, the original McDonnell Douglas-designed MD 902 was launched 26 years ago. After acquiring the company in 2005, Tilton brought parts production in-house and began her strategy of developing new versions of existing aircraft. MD Helicopters’ parts and service were also brought in-house.
Prime Industries & MD Helicopters
Prime Helicopters recently became a valued supplier of MD Helicopters parts and service. Models the company actively supports include the MD 500, the MD 520, and the MD 530. All are regarded as safe machines that may be used for a multitude of different missions.
If you are looking for top quality parts and components for MD Helicopters, contact Prime Industries to see how we can help. We offer competitive prices and our professional staff will do all they can to meet your needs.