A recent article got us researching to see whether the fact being presented was correct, and indeed it is. Just over 16% of the world MD520N fleet is in New Zealand. So far MD Helicopters has had one 520N prototype (converted from an old MD530F airframe) and built a total of just 110 new 520Ns - notably only five of which have been since the start of 2007.
Of these 110, one airframe became the development aircraft for the MD600N, two remain with the manufacturer - one for training/demonstration flights, and one new unsold airframe. Taking out a few more which have had accidents, brings us to an active fleet of 98 aircraft. Our analysis of these brings us to the following:-
16 New Zealand
3 Australia, Belgium, Germany (ie 3 in each country)
2 Brazil, El Salvador, India, Mexico
1 Argentina, Austria, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Guatemala, Italy, Korea, Namibia, Norway, Phillipines, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine
and finally, two permanently assigned to privately owned superyachts
The 15 of the US fleet of 36 are on law enforcement or fire monitoring roles, as are two in each of Belgium and El Salvador. Most of the New Zealand and Canadian fleets are used for aerial work.
Our research is based on data from Aeroboek.nl with permission, as well as further investigation by the HeliHub.com team.
Jeremy Parkin - HeliHub.com
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