The Columbus Police Department will upgrade four of its MD 500E helicopters to new MD 530Fs through an FAA-approved factory recertification program at MD Helicopters’ production facility in Mesa, Arizona
MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) announced today an agreement with the Columbus Division of Police, Columbus, Ohio, to upgrade four of the Aviation Unit’s six MD 500E helicopters to new MD 530Fs. Available exclusively through the MD Helicopters factory, the E-to-F conversion allows MD 500E operators the option to factory-recertify their aircraft as a brand new MD 530F.
“Over the period of just a several weeks we can completely upgrade existing E-models through a series of inspections, modifications and upgrades,” said Nick Nenadovic, Vice President Aftermarket and Customer Support for MD Helicopters, Inc. “In the end, the customer has a new, factory-built, FAA-certified F-model at a fraction of the cost of a new aircraft acquisition.”
The primary enhancements in the E-to-F conversion process are an engine upgrade from the Rolls Royce 250-C20B to the more powerful RR250-C30, replacement of the blades and stabilizers, and the addition of a Fargo Auxiliary Fuel Tank. These elements increase the hot-and-high performance capability of the aircraft as well as improve the operational range and flight time. As each conversion is complete, the original aircraft will receive a new, FAA-approved type certification of 369FF.
“Since its inception in 1972, the Columbus Police Department Helicopter Unit has flown nearly 230,000 flight hours – 16 hours a day, 7 days a week – with more than 95,000 of those hours in our MD 500Es,” said Lieutenant Greg Estep who oversees the helicopter unit. “As one of the largest municipal law enforcement aviation units in the United States, we are confident the conversion of our E models to F models will allow us to continue to expertly perform our missions without compromise. We are excited to be able to continue delivering direct support for ground patrol officers and serving the citizens of Columbus with these exceptional aircraft.”