MD 530F Light Turbine Helicopter, United States of America


The MD 530F is a light turbine helicopter manufactured by MD Helicopters, a Lynn Tilton company. It was developed as a successor to the MD 500E light utility helicopter. The single-engine MD 350F helicopter is designed to offer reliable performance at high altitudes as well as in hot day conditions. It can also operate in confined spaces.

The helicopter is capable of performing search-and-rescue (SAR), air vigilance, fire fighting, airborne law enforcement and other public safety missions. It served as a basis for Boeing Unmanned Little Bird helicopter with manned and unmanned flight capabilities.

Orders and deliveries

MD Helicopters, through its Ecuadorian Representative Bridgecom, signed a contract with Aeropolicial, a division of the National Police of Ecuador, to deliver four helicopters, in February 2009. The helicopters will be deployed for air vigilance, emergency assistance and evacuation of personnel in emergencies.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) received a helicopter in June 2010. It operates a total of four MD 530F helicopters. The Kauai Fire Department took delivery of an MD 530F helicopter for rescue operations, in March 2011.

AW109 Power is a twin-engine, multi-purpose light transport helicopter designed and developed by AgustaWestland.

MD Helicopters secured orders from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for 12 MD 530Fs in September 2013. The helicopters will be deployed in airborne law enforcement and fire fighting duties for the Ministry of Interior in the mountainous regions of Kurdistan.

Design and features of the MD 530F

The MD 530F is a member of the MD 500 series of light utility civilian and military helicopters. It can be easily reconfigured to function as a utility cargo carrier. The helicopter's airframe is fitted with tinted door and window on the left and right sides at the front and rear positions.

It also features extended landing gear, tinted canopy panels, fuselage hard points, two anti-collision lights, jacking fittings, rain gutter set and position lights.

The external structure features the composite rotor blades that were jointly developed by MD Helicopters and Van Horn Aviation. The main rotor blades are lengthened by six inches compared to MD 500E.

The helicopter's tailboom is eight inches longer than that of MD 500E. The tail rotor blades offer increased thrust and directional control at high hover ceiling levels, reducing the acoustical noise signature and direct operating costs.

The helicopter measures 9.78m in length, 2.62m in height and 8.34m in diameter. It has an empty weight of 722kg and useful load of more than 684kg. The maximum gross weight is 1,406kg. It can carry a fuel load of 183kg and can be optionally fitted with a cargo hook with a maximum capacity of 907kg.

Cockpit and cabin

The cockpit houses two crew members while crew seats are fitted with four-point harness restraint system and passenger seats feature three-point harness system. The crew and cabin compartment are provided with floor carpet.

The interior is equipped with fire extinguisher, soundproofing system, map case, instrument lighting, a 17Ah heavy duty Marathon battery, ventilation system, LH rotor brake, vinyl and fabric cushions. The interior trim panels feature vinyl material.

"The tail rotor blades offer increased thrust and directional control at high hover ceiling levels."

Avionics of MD 530F

The MD 530F is equipped with dual LH command flight controls and night-vision-goggle (NVG)-compatible cockpit. Its T-shaped instrument panel incorporates a full complement avionics suite that features a Garmin G500H dual-screen flight display offering moving-map graphics.

Engine and performance

The MD 530F helicopter is powered by Rolls Royce 250-C30 engine, which produces a power of 485kW. It is also fitted with a 242l fuel system and an external power receptacle.

The helicopter has a take-off power of 317kW and maximum continuous power of 280kW. It flies at a speed of 248km/h and has a range of 430km. The maximum operating altitude and service ceiling of the helicopter are 6,096m and 5,700m respectively.