MDHI to Qualify Ballistic Tolerant Crashworthy Fuel System

Qualification of an advanced ballistic tolerant crashworthy fuel system for model 369FF type-certified aircraft anticipated by EOY 2017

Mesa, Ariz., July 24, 2017

MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) and Tempe, Arizona-based Robertson Fuel Systems announce a joint development agreement to create  the next generation of ballistic tolerant crashworthy fuel systems (BTCWFS) for MDHI’s family of military helicopters. The companies will work together to qualify the BTCWFS for 369FF type-certified aircraft with a U.S. Army Airworthiness Release (AWR). MDHI has initiated an internal R&D program for airframe provisions to support this effort, and to ensure compliance with all future FAR 27 certification requirements.

MD Helicopters anticipates receipt of AWR by EOY 2017.  

“Our commitment to the continued advancement of our fleet is matched only by our unwavering support of and service to the warfighter,” said Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer for MD Helicopters. “369FF type-certified helicopters have long been heralded as among the safest ever manufactured, and have been preferred by U.S. and Allied militaries since the Vietnam Era. With this enhanced qualification, our already proven light scout attack fleet will be further prepared to execute their missions and better able to protect their crew.”

Driven by an urgent requirement from our military operators, we have partnered with Robertson Fuel Systems to ensure our ballistic tolerant crashworthy fuel system exceeds all requirements for self-sealing, fuel containment, survivability and ease of installation and maintenance.

“It is our honor to partner with MD Helicopters on the qualification of a ballistic tolerant crashworthy fuel system for the MD 530,” said Robertson Fuel Systems’ Chief Executive Officer Newman Shufflebarger. “We believe our expertise as a global leader in the development of military-grade fuel systems made us a natural choice for this effort, but it is our shared commitment to excellence, to exceeding operator expectations, and, ultimately, to the safety and security of the warfighter that truly makes this a perfect partnership.”

The Ballistic Tolerant Crashworthy Fuel System will feature:

“We are excited to collaborate with a company having Robertson’s breadth and depth of experience developing and perfecting military-grade fuel systems for combat aircraft,” said Mike Bartlett, Vice President of Product Engineering for MD Helicopters, Inc. “We are confident this development will enhance the already exemplary record of 369FF type-certified helicopters, and continue to provide the modern warfighter with the safety and survivability they deserve.”

All future U.S. Army Foreign Military Sales of armed MD 530 aircraft will include the BTCWFS as the baseline fuel system.

“In addition to delivering military rotorcraft aviators unmatched safety and survivability,” Tilton concludes, “the completion of this effort will also increase auxiliary fuel capacity for our MD 530 gunships by 65%, improving range and endurance, and broadening the performance envelope for an ever-expanding array of mission profiles.”


About Robertson Fuel Systems

Robertson Fuel Systems, a HEICO Company based in Tempe, Arizona, designs, develops, produces and sustains primary and auxiliary fuel systems for military and civil applications. HEICO Corporation is a New York Stock Exchange listed company (NYSE: HEI and HEI.A). The company’s technology-driven and electronics products have been used for aerospace, industrial, and defense industries for more than 60 years. For more information about Robertson Fuel Systems, visit

About MD Helicopters, Inc.

MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI), a woman-owned, small business, 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, and includes the twin-engine MD 902 Explorer, the MD 530F Cayuse Warrior Light Scout Attack Helicopter, the new MD530G Attack helicopter, and a single-engine commercial fleet that includes the MD 600N, MD 520N, MD 500E  and MD 530F. The innovative NOTAR® system for anti-torque control with no tail rotor – a key feature of the MD 902, MD 600N and MD 520N – is used exclusively by MD Helicopters to provide safer, quieter performance and confined-area access capability. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, or visit