MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) has received FAA certification to increase its MD 530F single engine helicopter’s internal max gross take-off weight (MGTOW) from 3,100 to 3,350 lb. This increase allows the MD 530F to support extended range, increased mission versatility, more time on target, and additional mission equipment options.
“We’re pleased to provide our current and future MD 530F customers expanded versatility with a 250-pound increase in allowable weight,” says Nick Nenadovic, Vice President, Aftermarket and Customer Support. “The MD 530F is a favorite among law enforcement agencies and utility operators around the world thanks to its unrivaled maneuverability and hot-high capabilities. When our customers asked for more versatility in this workhorse, we listened. This best-in-class aircraft is now even more desirable, cementing it as the aircraft of choice well into the future.”
MD Helicopters’ Experimental Flight Test Engineering team conducted a comprehensive range of tests required to prove the aircraft meets or exceeds all FAA performance and safety requirements at the new max weight. These included performance and handling, acoustic, flight load, and height velocity tests performed at different pressure altitudes, temperatures, and wind conditions. Tests proved the aircraft met all requirements while still maintaining sufficient margins for safe autorotation at the higher MGTOW. MD submitted certification paperwork to the FAA for the increase in January 2020.
The MGTOW affects only internal weight. MGTOW with external loads remains at 3,750 lb.
To take advantage of the increased MGTOW, customers can order the upgrade kit, which includes 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.