MD Helicopters Inc. (MDHI) released details recently of its new armed scout helicopter - the MD 540F, the newest addition to MD’s fleet of single engine turbine helicopters. The 540F is an upgrade to the popular MD 530F; boasting a 6-bladed, fully articulated rotor blade system made up entirely of composite material, in addition to a more rugged landing skid built for heavier take-off and landing weights.
“This aircraft will be a game changer for our company,” commented Ms. Lynn Tilton, CEO of MDHI. “The commercial and military markets have long sought an affordable, light, single engine helicopter that can perform exceptionally well at hot and high altitudes while carrying a larger useful load. The MD 540F will be that aircraft. Our engineers have bolstered performance to achieve a dramatic increase in max gross take-off weight and useful load capability. This increase will allow the MD 540F to carry a full avionics and weapons package while hovering at 6,000 feet/95°F.”
The MD 540F will be equipped with a fully integrated digital glass cockpit. Information will be displayed to the pilots on large, easy to read, multi-function color displays, and directly onto the pilot’s eyes using a sophisticated Helmet Display and Tracking System (HDTS). The weapons system will include fixed forward firing rockets and guns, laser guided rockets, and Hellfire missiles. The Targeting FLIR with laser designator coupled with the HDTS and laser guided rockets or Hellfire missile, will allow the pilot to easily locate and destroy hostile targets - day or night.
“The 540F will be a lethal fighting machine,” said Tilton. “The 540F will carry much of the same punch as the heavier attack helicopters at a fraction of the acquisition expense and life cycle operation costs. Using precise aim points and laser guided missiles and rockets, the MD 540F will be able to destroy enemy armor and infantry positions with little collateral battle damage.”
The increased useful load will allow the armed version of the 540F to carry an advanced, lightweight weapons platform with four stations. Various mixes of guns, rockets and missiles can be carried simultaneously.
Development of the MD 540F is ongoing, and flight tests have commenced. The armed version will be on display at the Army Aviation Association of America (Quad-A) convention in Nashville, TN. Certification is projected for the 1st quarter of 2013.
About MD Helicopters
MD Helicopters, Inc. is located in Mesa, Arizona and manufactures single- and twin-engine small- to mid-sized helicopters, including the innovative no tail rotor design that provides safer, quieter, and confined-area access capability. MD Helicopters, Inc. is owned by Patriarch Partners, LLC, a private equity and investment firm headquartered in New York City. For additional information visit http://www.mdhelicopters.com