20-Dec-2011 Source: Police Aviation News
The MD900 fleet operated by the Belgian Federal Police has now reached 20,000 hours. Originally acquired by what was then the Gendarmerie in 1997 the fleet now consists of four airframes. The first two G-10 c/n 900-00034 and G-11 c/n 900-00045 were delivered new in 1997, the third to arrive was G12 c/n 900-00038 in the summer of 2001 and, as recently featured in PAN, the latest arrival is a 902 configured machine delivered in 2010 â€“ G-16 c/n 900-00132. The accumulation of the 20,000 hours has been over fourteen years and [primarily] by three airframes – an average of under 1,430 hours each year, well under 500 per airframe so not of the same intensity seen in some single airframe UK police operations.
Currently G-12 is flying with the Zeiss turret on a nose mount but has not yet received the full 902 conversion process. The first helicopter to be withdrawn from service to undergo the extensive conversion to MD902 standard is G-10.
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