MD Helicopters (MDH) has kicked off an STC project that will certify the use of a Rolls Royce 250-C30 engine in the MD 520N, which features MDH's patented NOTAR tailboom. STC certification is expected before the end of 2023, and MDH will license a select number of MDH authorised service centres around the world to perform the upgrade, which will significantly boost the MD 520N's hot-high performance while reducing maintenance costs. MDH is partnering with Columbia Helicopters Inc. in Aurora, Oregon to establish the STC.
“MDH's new leadership made a commitment to strengthen and support our proven line of highly revered helicopters, and this is another delivery on that promise,” says MD Helicopter president and CEO Brad Pedersen. “There are 85 MD 520N helicopters flying today. This engine upgrade offers an improvement for those aircraft by significantly boosting power, performance and cost savings for MD 520N NOTAR operators. We are grateful to Columbia Helicopters for its partnership in completing the STC process and look forward to providing upgrades before the end of the year.”
Benefits of the -C30 engine upgrade at 4,700 ft density altitude include: hover with 300 more lbs on a hot day; 15 per cent increase of available SHP on a hot day; and a 15 per cent increase of TOT margins.
Once the STC is approved later this year, upgrade kits will be made available to select MDH authorised service centres, which will perform the upgrades. Each upgrade is expected to take one to two months to complete.
MDH is also offering its complimentary MD 530F Maximum Gross Take Off Weight (MGTOW) upgrade to operators of all MD 530F model helicopters as a part of the company's continuing efforts to increase customer support and service. The upgrade increases MGTOW from 3,100 to 3,350 lbs.
The MGTOW upgrade is an internal weight increase. VNE with the new MGTOW is 150 kts. Maximum external load gross weight, minimum flying weight and the centre of gravity remain unchanged.
The upgrade consists of a new rotorcraft flight manual (RFM) supplement assigned to the aircraft serial number and a VNE IAS (knots) placard reflecting the increased MGTOW for display in the aircraft. Any MDH authorised service centre can perform the upgrade. Depending on service centre workload availability, MD 530F MGTOW upgrades could be performed in less than a month from request.
MDH continues to increase availability on all fielded parts for its aircraft, including NOTAR helicopters. These upgrades are in addition to a growing parts supply to support the aircraft.