Arizona-based MD Helicopters has become a firm favorite with military and police forces around the world including those in Afghanistan, Argentina, Italy, Korea, Jordan, Turkey, Finland, and the USA. With a reputation for producing “the most survivable” helicopters in the world, MD helicopters are agile, fast, and they are proven for secure, attack, and reconnaissance missions.
In the past few months alone a number of police departments have expanded their fleets to include MD aircraft.
Recent acquisitions were made by:
- The Hungarian National Police that added five MD 902 Explorer helicopters to its air support fleet
- The Columbus Division of Police in Ohio that upgraded two of its MD helicopters
- The Prince George’s County Police Department that expanded its aviation fleet with a third MD helicopter
From Civil to Commercial and Scout Attack Helicopters
A business descended from the helicopter company established by the legendary Howard Hughes in 1947, MD Helicopters Holdings Inc. was acquired by the hugely ambitious and highly successful investment fund owner Lynn Tilton 12 years ago. Recognizing the future potential of what was already an iconic brand, Ms. Tilton recapitalized the company, which at that time was a subsidiary of the Dutch RDM Holdings Inc. and renamed it MD Helicopters, Inc, (MDHI), Since then it has operated independently and boasts a wholly owned manufacturing operation in Mexico. Of course, MD parts and services are equally important.
The original Hughes helicopter company was focused on craft for civil use. After McDonnel Douglas (MD) bought the company there was some shift with, for instance, the Hungarian National Police using their craft to help secure borders and provide ground and air support as long ago as 1986. Similarly, Prince George’s County police have been using MD helicopters since 2000.
From the start, the focus has been on helicopters that were technologically advanced and simply better than most, particularly when it comes to rotorcraft. So when Tilton took over she promised to “re-energize, restructure, and preserve” the MD brand, and developed strategic roadmaps that would stabilize and invigorate growth of the company. Her first big break came in 2011 when MDHI was awarded a US$186 million contract by the US Army for six helicopters to be used for training in Afghanistan.
Four years later the first armed MD 530F Cayuse Warrior was delivered to the coalition forces operating in Afghanistan. A year later the Malaysian Ministry of Defense announced it was a launch customer for MD 530G, the company’s then new light scout attack helicopter.
Since then it’s just got better and better.
MD Helicopter’s Police Fleet Across the World
The Hungarian National Police started flying MD aircraft when McDonnell-Douglas owned the company. Late January 2017 they announced they were adding five MD902 Explorer Helicopters to their fleet in Budapest, primarily to replace the now aging Mi-2 craft they have been using. The acquisition makes the Hungarian police one of the largest MD-brand fleet operators in Eastern Europe.
The new MD902s have exceptional capabilities including night vision, a 3-axis autopilot, high-performance surveillance equipment, and more. The patented anti-torque control system it uses reduces the workload of pilots and cuts external noise levels. All in all, it improves safety in small, confined spaces and on offshore platforms.
The Columbus Police Department’s commitment to MDHI is in line with their decision to upgrade their fleet. They announced late April 2017 that two MD 500E helicopters would be overhauled over a relatively short period of time (just a few weeks) and re-certified as F models. This was in keeping with a previous upgrade of four other E models in 2015. What this means is that the Rolls Royce engine is upgraded; blades and stabilizers are replaced; a dual-screen Garmin G500H electronic flight display is installed; and a Fargo auxiliary fuel tank is added.
This series of conversions makes the Columbus Police Department the second largest municipal aviation unit for law enforcement that exists in the US. This has increased their response time exponentially and has also made them hugely successful in terms of misdemeanor and felony arrests.
Prince George’s County
In May 2017 the Prince George’s County’s aviation section of their police department announced they would be acquiring a third MD520N helicopter. With two of these helicopters in service since 2000, the police department has found it to be an exceptional aircraft when it comes to law enforcement, particularly in a diverse 500 square mile region like Prince George’s County.
A major highlight is that this police law enforcement aviation unit will be the first to fly a helicopter with MD’s first all-glass cockpit. Custom-configured, the new helicopter really does have it all!
Market leaders when it comes to the supply of helicopter spare parts, Prime Industries has offered Airbus parts and services for many years, and relatively recently expanded its operation to MD Helicopters. If there’s anything you need for an MD or any other Airbus craft contact us to see how we can assist.
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.
Prime Industries, a market leader in the supply of helicopter and Airbus parts and spares now offers service and parts for MD Helicopters.
Recognizing that MD Helicopters are amongst the best in the world, Prime Industries specifically supports:
- MD 500 which boasts an iconic crashworthy design using during the Vietnam conflict that lasted from 1954 until 1975
- MD 520, a quiet, very safe machine that is popular for many mission applications from paramilitary and air rescue to aerial surveys and agricultural and forestry jobs
- MD 530 which is a global favorite with governments and foreign military, as well as many commercial operators
MD Helicopters prides itself on producing aircraft for discriminatory operators in both civil and military fields. The MD 500 series has established a legendary position in the world, and newer craft continues to meet the highest expectations.
Originally established by the equally legendary Howard Hughes as Hughes Aircraft in 1947, MD was imprinted on the brand after McDonnell-Douglas bought the company in 1984. The company merged with The Boeing Company 13 years later, and after being bought out by RDM Holdings, was renamed MDHI. In 2005 award-winning entrepreneur Lynn Tilton acquired the company and pledged to restructure, re-energize, and preserve the iconic MD brand. She’s achieved her goal and continues to build on her success.
All the helicopters manufactured by the MD company have single turbine Rolls Royce engines as well as five-blade rotor systems. They undoubtedly meet the standards of the world’s best rotorcraft, and Prime Industries is proud to be able to supply parts, components, and services that meet MD’s tradition of excellence.
The Prime Commitment
Prime Industries is able to supply the best quality parts and components for MD Helicopters at very competitive prices. Even though some parts are more difficult to acquire, our highly trained professional staff tailor their services to ensure that we can help our customers. Even if the parts and components are not in our current inventory, we undertake to do everything possible to procure what our customers need within their stated timeline.
It doesn’t matter whether you need components for your MD Helicopter engine, landing gear, survival equipment, wheels and brakes, consumables or accessories, we are her to help you.
Contact us so that we can help you as quickly as possible. Our professional staff members will also assist with repairs and overhaul of components. We subcontract with the very best manufacturers and suppliers in the US to make certain that we are able to supply products and services that are reliable, at a good, competitive price.
Prime has a strong reputation, having supplied Airbus parts and Airbus services for helicopters for many years, and we have a loyal customer base. We are confident that out MD Helicopters customers will grow rapidly as more and more people and companies learn that we now offer MD Helicopters Parts and Services.
What can we do to help you?
Six German students given the opportunity to come up with innovative new ideas for small electric airplanes have taken creative transportation technology to a whole new level.
The challenge, which came from Airbus, was to conceptualize an eco-friendly, quiet, two-seater electrical plane that was easy to operate on short runways and near large cities. The students participating in the project were not expected to consider usual Airbus specifications or Airbus parts that would normally be part of a new airplane design.
Quite literally, the sky was the limit!
A Magic Carpet Ride
Bruno Saint Jaimes, Airbus head of creative design and concepts, believes that the Magic Carpet Project has more importance than many people realize. In fact, he believes that the best ideas from the project can be used by Airbus as it works towards “more electric aviation” in the future.
But it also has an important role in terms of transportation in general. This has been an opportunity for design students to think out of the box.
“Electricity has the potential to change the future of flying vehicles,” he says.
Traditionally, as Saint Jaimes point outs, most transportation design students believe that their skills are only applicable to the automotive industry. So the Magic Carpet contest was conceived to show this isn’t true. Innovative ideas are also vital to expand the aerospace industry. By involving next generation designers, Airbus could show that aircraft aren’t simply machines and that the potential for design is immense.
“And we can have fun at Airbus,” he says.
The project, which took place at Pforzheim’s Hochschule University over a five-month period of time mid-2016, resulted in six amazingly different electric aviation designs:
- Glider A hang-glider type aircraft that uses electric propulsion to start up, take off, climb and cruise. It is controlled by shifting weight and features a propeller that can be folded away when gliding. The Airbus parts can also be disassembled to transport and store the plane.
- Stingshot Designed with a double fuselage, the innovative Stingshot has a distinctly futuristic appearance. It also has two separate cockpits, one for an instructor and the other for a trainee pilot.
- Lightweight aircraft Ultra lightweight, with wheels integrated with the tips of the wings, this electric plane has twin engines. Also futuristic-looking, it features a big cockpit that is sphere shaped, providing a magnificent panoramic view in flight.
- Boxwing The unique design of this low-weight electric aircraft makes it stable and agile. It also optimizes positioning of the battery pack used to power the aircraft.
- Asymmetrical aircraft Another Airbus electric two-seater, this asymmetrically designed plane has pusher fans that are powered by electric motors that are mounted at the rear of the plane. The design provides a high degree of propeller integration, effectively reducing the risk of propeller-type accidents for those using the aircraft.
- Flux Sleek and ultra-modern in design, the Flux featured electric fans that are integrated with the aircraft, rather than protruding from it’s exterior.
The Role of Airbus in the Project
All six students participating in the project worked closely with people from Airbus who reviewed their progress and gave advice relating to engineering and technical requirements. This enabled them to integrate suitable Airbus parts and Airbus services with their very different, innovative designs.
According to Saint Jaimes, the project was such a huge success the company is hoping to expand the Magic Carpet Project to many more design schools in Europe and in the USA.
Of course, the Magic Carpet planes are simply models, so you’re not going to find the Airbus parts used to build them. But if you’re looking Airbus parts, components, and Airbus services for aircraft currently in service, Prime Industries can help you. Contact us to check our current inventory, or to see whether we can find items for you that aren’t currently in stock.
With half the world’s population living in cities, traffic congestion is a daily challenge for commuters. It is forecast that as urbanization increases, by 2030 60 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities. These include sprawling megacities that are spread all over the world.
- In 2014 Sao Paulo traffic at rush hour stretched a record-setting 344 km. These enormous back-ups were found to be costing the Brazilian economy at least US$31 billion every year.
- People working in London, and driving to work, were found to be losing the equivalent of 35 days (or more than a month) every year.
With this harsh reality in mind, Airbus has a plan to enable travelers and commuters to fly over traffic jams.
Airbus Initiatives to Relieve Urban Congestion
The Airbus initiatives are revolutionary and aim to change urban travel for millions of people within the next 10 years. They include:
- Project Vahana, launched in February 2016, is developing a self-piloted flying vehicle platform for cargo transport and individual passengers. The technology used includes reliable sense-and-find, and the first prototype will be flight-tested late 2017. According to Rodin Lyasoff, CEO of the project, global demand is likely to support fleets of millions of these flying vehicles worldwide.
- Skyways, a project that is concentrating on autonomous commercial drones that will be able to fly over urban areas safely. With similar goals to those of Amazon, Airbus aims to take the lead and gain Amazon, DHS, and similar companies as customers.
- CityAirbus that will provide electrically operated aerial vehicles for multiple passengers. While the first working models will be operated by pilots, the plan is to switch to autonomous craft once aviation regulations have been changed. The feasibility study for this project is complete and the company is positive it will go ahead. Airbus has stated that flights will cost a similar amount to a regular taxi ride, but will considerably quicker and much more thrilling!
Science Fiction or Reality?
Airbus is setting its sights really high with all three of these ambitious projects. While some critics say that flying taxis and other autonomous aircraft sound more like science fiction than reality, the Airbus team is adamant that the best solutions to alleviate congestion on the ground are in the sky.
Airbus Helicopters Vassilis Agouridas is critical of current “smart city concepts,” pointing out that they totally ignore aircraft.
“That’s why we’re convinced that this represents a truly disruptive opportunity for Airbus,” he says.
There is certainly no doubt that the race to launch safe and successful air mobility has begun. In addition to developments out of the Airbus stable (or more appropriately, hangar):
- The German company e-volo launched its first electric Volocopter in March 2016 with one passenger on board.
- South African-born Canadian-American inventor and business magnate Elon Musk, wearing his SpaceX cap, stated late 2016 that he was still interested in electric jets that could take off and land vertically.
- Even NASA is working on prototypes.
Airbus recognizes that the new market is developing very quickly and is determined to be ahead of the game when it comes to these new air-focused industries.
While the new aircraft will be tiny when compared to the huge Airbus jets that currently fly the skies, Airbus parts and Airbus services will be as important as ever.
If you have an Airbus fixed wing aircraft or Airbus helicopter, Prime Industries can help with aircraft parts and services. We supply, repair and overhaul components and parts, so if you’re looking for something, call us now. We’ll do whatever we can to help.
Everybody know Airbus planes… huge flying machines that soar through the sky! But the latest gem developed by the France-based company is a small two-seater plane that is battery powered.
It is all part of the Airbus quest to develop electric aircraft that will ultimately be silent and free from CO2 – or at least relatively so.
E-Fan 2.0 the Electric Plane Prototype
The key element in their goal for a quiet aircraft that will be totally free of harmful emissions is the E-Fan, a demonstrator aircraft launched at a high-profile English airshow last year (2016). Weighing in at just 500 kg (1,100 lbs) the good-looking little E-Fan 2.0 thrilled the crowds at the Farnborough Air Show mid year.
The new electric flying machine has dual motors with power totaling 60kW, and they drive two ducted fans that have blades with a pitch that is adjustable. The fans are mounted inside ducts so that the noise is decreased. Because this also increases the thrust of the fans, power efficiency is improved during takeoff.
The 120-cell lithium polymer battery enables a one-hour flight. The battery is cooled passively so that it relies on air rather than a powered cooling system that could overheat as they discharge power.
While not quite practical yet, Airbus has much more ambitious plans looking forward.
First Production Airbus Electric Planes Available This Year
The company has stated it will invest some €20 million in the design and development of this exciting new electric aircraft. Late 2017 has been pinpointed as the time for launching its first production planes, initially intended for pilot training. Soon after this, a slightly bigger electric plane aimed at the general aviation market will be produced. This will have sufficient space for four passengers.
While the prototype seen at Farnborough had two seats positioned one in front of the other, the production planes will have seats that are positioned alongside one another.
Futuristic “Intelligent” Factory Built for Assembly of Airbus Parts and Electric Planes
The factory site for the new E-fan 2.0 is in the south west of France at Pau Pyrénées Airport within the French Aerospace Valley. The specially designed facility measures 1,500 square meters and has a wonderfully sleek and futuristic design style. It also utilizes innovative manufacturing techniques intended to validate new aviation processes and technologies that Airbus aims to use across all its divisions.
Intelligent concepts the company envisions include:
- A seriously compact assembly floor that will reduce “distance” during build-up of aircraft.
- A new definition of the processes used that focus on quality, continuity, and the management and control taken by those operating the assembly line.
- Application of lean production procedures that have been designed to eliminate wastage.
In spite of this high tech scenario, Airbus has stated that its E-fan 2.0 production plane will have operating costs that will total only a third of traditional piston-engine light aircraft. The aircraft will also focus primarily on the needs of users.
Airbus Parts and Airbus Service
While Airbus parts required for the new electric planes are different to those currently used in Airbus helicopters and jet planes, Prime Industries remains a primary supplier. If you need parts or components for your Airbus, have a look at our comprehensive inventory, or contact us for more information.
Prime Industries USA Aquires Agusta Westland AW109 and AW119 for Part Out
Prime Industries has obtained a Sikorsky S76A+ SN: 760287 for part out
Airbus has announced that during the third quarter of 2017 a total of 5,000 of the company’s commercial aircraft will be equipped with high-bandwidth connectivity platforms that will provide faster Internet and mobile telephone services in the air. By 2025 it is anticipated that 62 percent of the global Airbus fleet (a total of 16,600 jetliners) will be connected using the new high-bandwidth architecture.
High–bandwidth connectivity is just a part of the company’s commitment to making its on-board experience superior to that found on any other airliner. It is also their intention to improve the experience for the crew by enhancing their operational communications.
The innovative solutions that are currently being developed will utilize a new generation of high-throughput satellite technologies that are found in the Ka-band and Ku-band frequencies. Ku is regarded as a legacy band and is in great demand globally, so much so, available capacity has been exhausted in some parts of the world. Although not as widespread as Ku, Ka-band frequencies are gaining in popularity with new satellites and networks launching worldwide. The two bandwidths are sometimes used together to form a hybrid system.
Development of High-Bandwidth Connectivity by Airbus
Late 2016 Airbus, which prides itself on its modern, market-leading jetliners, became the first company in the airline industry to demonstrate its new-standard high-bandwidth connectivity platform in-flight.
According to the head of the company’s connectivity program and upgrade services, Bruno Galzin, Airbus is determined to find connectivity solutions that will provide passengers in the air with the same type of connectivity they are used to having at home. The Airbus solution will enable its passengers to remain connected throughout the flight so that they can access the Internet, exchange with people on the ground via chat or email programs, and participate in social media while en route from city to city or continent to continent.
Additionally, improved connectivity solutions will improve the operational communications of crew and cabin staff in various ways including by enabling:
- Digital cabin logbooks
- Credit card authentication
This will improve service and help to generate additional ancillary cabin revenues, he said.
The new high-bandwidth connectivity solutions Airbus plans to introduce will come from multiple suppliers. They will be used for applications on A320, A330, and A380 jetliners in new production aircraft as well as retrofit. They will also be used to supplement the A350 XWB that is described as a “digital native” because it was introduced into service with a high-bandwidth connectivity capability.
The fact that older A320, A330, and A380 jetliners will be retrofitted means that all these aircraft will require the same Airbus parts and parts service when it comes to connectivity.
Airbus Parts and Parts Service Specialist
Prime Industries specializes in the supply of Airbus helicopter and fixed wing aircraft parts. The company is also a parts service specialist and is available to overhaul parts and components. Prime clients come from a wide range of industries from medical to military, and we also deal with aircraft used for personal transport.
Contact us for more information about Airbus parts availability and pricing, or view our ever-changing inventory online.