MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) has completed a contract to upgrade an MD 500E helicopter to an FAA-certified MD 530F model aircraft as part of MDHI’s long standing E-to-F conversion program.
“The E-to-F conversion program follows a strict, FAA-approved process,” says Nick Nenadovic, Vice President of Aftermarket and Customer Support for MD Helicopters, Inc. “Over eight to 12 weeks, the E Model is disassembled and all airframe modifications, component installations, inspections, testing, and certifications occur. In the end, the aircraft is a fully-certified MD 530F model.”
The aircraft’s owner, a long time MDHI customer located in Texas, chose to convert the aircraft in order to expand its marketable operational capabilities. The conversion increases the aircraft’s gross weight to 3,350 lbs, improves its flight characteristics in confined areas, and boosts cruise speed, all for comparatively low direct operating costs (DOC).
The aircraft is under contract, leased to a professional and high-quality construction, powerline, and aerial lifting service located in Apopka, Florida.
Delivery of the converted MD 530F occurred in October 2020.
MD Helicopters’ exclusive E-to-F conversion program maintains essential safety margins while delivering increased hot-and-high performance capability. Enhancements to the aircraft include:
Engine upgrade from the Rolls Royce 250-C20B to the more powerful RR250-C30
Replacement of the main rotor and tail rotor blades
Upgraded F model main rotor gearbox
Upgraded tail rotor drive shaft