Van Horn Aviation delivered a full set of five prototype composite main rotor blades to MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI), in late February just in time for MDHI to debut the blades on the MD 530F displayed at its Heli-Booth booth March 6-8.
The new blades will begin initial flight testing in March 2011, and are expected to receive FAA Supplemental Type Certification (STC) by the end of 2011. Once certified on the MD 530F, MDHI and VHA plan to certify the blade for the MD 520N® and a shorter version for the MD 500D® and MD 500E® models. Following those developments, VHA will begin designing composite tail rotor blades for the appropriate MD models.
For more information, read the press release issued by MDHI.