- 19 Apr 2022
- Sherryn de Vos
- AvBuyer Africa Articles
The MD Explorer (otherwise known as the MD 900, and then the MD 902) has been a fixture of the light twin-engine turbine helicopter market for almost 30 years, with the upgraded MD 902 still in production with MD Helicopters today.
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MD 902 Explorer Turbine Helicopter Overview
By Gerrard Cowan
Initially, the MD 902 was equipped with two Pratt & Whitney PW206E engines, but these were later replaced with more powerful Pratt & Whitney PW207E engines.
The MD Explorer has carved out a significant position in the market since its certification in 1994, with particular interest among para-public and commercial operators, as well as private operators.
The MD 902 can transport 6-7 passengers (though usually four in executive configuration) with 1-2 crew members, and has a range of 215nm according to Conklin & de Decker.
What features does the MD 902 offer?
The MD 902 Explorer uses a graphite composite NOTAR (No Tail Rotor) anti-torque system, helping reduce noise and overall helicopter vibrations, and eliminating tail rotor strikes.
It uses the flow of fan-driven low-pressure air through two tail boom slots and a direct-jet thruster in conjunction with two vertical stabilizers to provide required anti-torque and directional control.
What came before and after the MD 902?
Prior to introduction of the MD 902, the MD 900 Explorer was the first aircraft in its series, and was one of the first helicopters to adopt Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW200-series engines.
The MD 902 followed, advancing the aircraft in a range of aspects (detailed below).
MD Helicopters manufactures a range of other commercial helicopters aimed, in part, at the VIP/corporate markets, including the MD 500E and the MD 600N light helicopters.
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