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March 6, 2013
By Sarah Brown
The MD 540F armed scout helicopter will be outfitted with Rolls-Royce's new M250-C47E turboshaft engine.
The FAA has approved an increase of gross weight to 6,770 pounds for the MD Explorer 902, MD Helicopters announced at Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo March5.
The 270-pound gain in payload for the twin-engine helicopter “paves the way for a new set of equipment and technology configurations” that will increase the aircraft’s versatility, MD Helicopters President Carl Schopfer said in a media release. The company also announced that its MD 540F armed scout helicopter will be powered by Rolls-Royce’s new variant of the M250, the M250-C47E.
CEO Lynn Tilton emphasized her goal of employing workers in the United States; the Explorer 902 on display at Heli-Expo bore a paint scheme indicating it was proudly made in the U.S.
About 135 Explorers are in service around the world, a company official said, many in use for law enforcement and emergency medical services. MD Helicopters CEO Lynn Tilton said in a press conference that the company is aiming for a range increase next.
MD Helicopters said the M250-C47E on the MD 540F will deliver power for hot and high performance, and Tilton said the scout is well-suited to the foreign military market. “We think it could be a huge turning point for our future,” she said.
The company’s helicopters use NOTAR anti-torque systems, which replace the traditional tail rotor. Tilton said the technology is an advantage in populated areas.
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