MD Helicopters, Inc. Ships 600th MD 500E
MD Helicopters, Inc (MDHI) delivered its 600th MD500E to Eastern Atlantic Helicopters in West Sussex, UK
MD Helicopters, June 08, 2010 - MESA, Arizona, USA - This month, MD Helicopters, Inc (MDHI) delivered its 600th MD500E to Eastern Atlantic Helicopters, LTD in West Sussex, UK.
The MD 500E traces its roots to 1960, when the US Department of Defense issued Technical Specification 153 for a Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) to fulfill various roles: personnel transport, escort and attack missions, casualty evacuation and observation.
The Hughes 369, later designated the OH-6A "Cayuse" won the bidding and the first prototype took flight on February 27, 1963 and was later delivered to Fort Rucker air base to begin Army trials the following November.. In total, 1434 OH-6As were built; the last one was delivered in August of 1970.
The OH-6A spun off several variants including the Model 500, the 500C, H-500MC, 500M, 500D, 500MD, 369HM, and NH500M, among others.
The MD 500E (Model 500E) was first flown January 28, 1982, and differed from the 500D , with a longer and more streamlined nose and enlarged endplate fins. The first two 500E’s were prototypes used for testing. The first production model was delivered to Germany in November of 1982. In all, twelve 500E’s were delivered that year and 118 during the first two years of production. The first powerplant was an Allison 250-C20B that delivered an absolute maximum of 411shp and 355shp maximum continuous power, respectively. The revised cabin offered greater legroom and headroom to increase passenger comfort. Standard MD 500Es retained the five-bladed, fully articulated main rotor of MD 500Ds, but an experimental MD 500E became the first MDHC helicopter fitted with an all-composite hingeless rotor. It was first flown at Mesa, Arizona, on April 23, 1985.
Today the MD 500E remains among the most highly respected and best selling helicopters on the market. It delivers the highest speed, payload and productivity in its class for a direct operating cost that is extremely reasonable, especially in the current economic environment
The MD 500E features sufficient cabin space for five, with unsurpassed visibility, ample cargo space, and a useful internal load of 1,519 pounds (689 kg).
The T-shaped instrument panel provides optimal placement for a full complement of modern avionics
With a five-bladed main rotor and the choice of a 420-shp Rolls Royce (previously Allison) 250- C20B or a 450-shp Rolls Royce 250-C20R turbine engine, the MD 500E is the best performing helicopter in its class. It Cruises easily at 135 kt (250 kph) over a range of 290 nm (537 km). For applications where noise is a concern, the MD 500E can be equipped with a four-bladed tail rotor for quiet performance.
“This is an iconic helicopter-- versatile, safe, and loved by the pilots who fly it,” said Lynn Tilton, CEO of MD Helicopters, Inc. “In all, over 5000 derivatives of that first Hughes Cayuse have been manufactured and we celebrate the production of the 600th Model 500E. We are very proud of our Hughes heritage, this milestone, and the team in Mesa, Arizona that builds these aircraft.”
Eastern Atlantic Helicopters Ltd is a UK based distributor of MD Helicopters specializing in sales of new and pre-owned MD Helicopters to private and corporate clients throughout the UK and Europe.
MD Helicopters, Inc., is a leading manufacturer of commercial and military helicopters. The MDHI family of rotorcraft is world renowned for its value, versatility and performance. The MD Helicopters family includes the twin-engine MD Explorer®, and single engine versions of the MD 600N®, MD 520N®, MD 500E® and MD 530F®. The NOTAR® system for anti-torque control is used exclusively by MD Helicopters. The Company is based in Mesa, Ariz.
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