Significant upgrades to the avionics and electrical system, along with advanced development to increase flight distance and payload are all part of an aggressive new product development pipeline. The changes are designed to ensure the next generation of Explorer maintains its position as the most capable, cost effective and versatile light-twin in the market.
"Since inception, the Explorer brand has been an industry icon for superior mission performance; integrating the world's most advanced technologies, from the NOTAR anti-torque system to an airframe design unmatched in performance, the aircraft architecture remains revolutionary today," said Ms. Lynn Tilton, CEO of MDHI. "Our commitment to advancing this superb aircraft with an infusion of new technology-based capabilities will continue the Explorer legacy of incorporating ground-breaking innovation that transcends time."
One key milestone along the MD Explorer new product development timeline will be the introduction of a next generation, full capability flight deck. To accomplish this, MDHI has partnered with advanced avionics manufacturer Universal Avionics Systems Corporation. The result of the development will be a new custom single-pilot IFR-capable integrated flight deck available for all production and retrofit MD Explorer helicopters. The new cockpit will feature a Primary Flight Display (PFD) providing all Primary Flight parameters, Primary Engine / Rotor data and safety critical annunciators. Full capabilities will include synthetic vision, electronic charts and display graphics that are video and mission display capable. The system will be available in several cockpit configurations supporting both single and dual pilot operations. Night Vision Goggle (NVG)-compatible cockpit displays and controllers are planned immediately after certification of the basic display system project.
Integral to the Explorer avionics upgrade, MDHI has selected Archangel Systems, Inc. to integrate its AHR150A Air Data Attitude Heading Reference System (ADAHRS) with the MD902 avionics upgrade. With Level A software, the AHR150A is approved for mission critical and primary flight systems on Part 23, 25, 27 and 29 aircraft.
"Today we showcase the first in a series of new product milestones that will heighten mission performance, safety and versatility, above the already superior performance of today's Explorer 902," said Carl Schopfer, President of MDHI. "Combining the capabilities of our dedicated and expert MDHI engineering team with innovative and agile technology partners has enabled our product development to progress with speed and efficiency. We look forward to announcing further enhancements in the near future."
The company has slated introduction timing for the next generation of MD Explorer technology enhancements beginning 2015-2018. Definitive timing for the introduction of new aircraft and retrofit packages will be included in future announcements, as product development progresses.
Visit MD Helicopters in booth N4121 at the 2013 HELI-EXPO, to meet with product specialists and to review this capable twin's wide-open cabin and the new advanced cockpit concept.
About MD Helicopters
MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI), a Lynn Tilton company, is a leading manufacturer of commercial, military, law enforcement and air-rescue 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, MD 530F and MD 540F. The innovative NOTAR system for anti-torque control with no tail rotor is used exclusively by MD Helicopters to provide safer, quieter and confined-area access capability. The company is based in Mesa, Arizona. For more information about MDHI, visit www.mdhelicopters.com.