MD HELICOPTERS Inc (MDHI) launched its new MD969 Combat Attack Helicopter at HAI Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 5. The type is an evolution of the company’s MD900/902 series intended to provide a future assault and attack variant of this proven and powerful light twin-engine rotorcraft.
Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer of MDHI, said: “The MD 969 will deliver a new level of multi-mission capabilities for military operators. As the premier light twin-engine helicopter in their class, MD900-series aircraft deliver excellent manoeuvrability, unmatched safety and impressive endurance to support a wide range of operations. Enhancements delivered in the MD969 will further solidify this elegant aircraft as the definitive choice for an ever-expanding range of military and paramilitary operations.”
The MD969 incorporates a Genesys Aerosystems Advanced IDU-680 integrated all-glass cockpit, a highly capable and customizable next generation glass cockpit solution that is also the avionics system of choice for MDHI’s MD530G Attack Helicopters. The MD 969 open architecture cockpit features three Genesys Aerosystems IDU-680s all glass primary displays which offer 100% digital, open architecture for aircraft-independent installation and are field-upgradeable to add new functionality without replacing hardware components and a 12in Macro-Blue Tactical Display. It features rugged, high definition construction engineered to meet DO-160 environmental and MIL-standards for contrast, sunlight readability, anti-reflective glass and NVIS Radiance.
The Genesys systems delivers on-demand access to automatic or manual revisionary modes, 3D synthetic vision, geo-referenced hover vector, night vision A&B capabilities, weather radar integration, integrated ADS-B traffic display, Engine Instrument Crew Advisory System (EICAS), Flight Data Recording, graphical FMS/VHF navigation, an internal radio and moving maps. MDHI anticipates Type Certification for the Genesys Aerosystems glass cockpit by the end of the fourth quarter of 2019.
In addition to advanced avionics, the MD969 also features a proprietary, MDHI-designed integrated composite weapons plank that allows for greater operational flexibility and expanded mission capabilities. The integrated plank allows for up to six-station, fixed-forward weapons installation while maintaining unimpeded, full-cabin access to support simultaneous forward fire, crew-served weapons and personnel transport missions.
The up-to-eight-seat MD969 is single-pilot IFR certified and can safely and effectively execute a broad range of military, para-military and utility missions including fast attack, combat search and rescue, CASEVAC/MEDEVAC, command & control, and personnel transport. Projected performance includes a 6,770lb maximum gross take-off weight; 3,395lb useful load; hover in ground effect – 10,650ft; hover out of ground effect – 8,870 ft; 422-mile range; 3hrs endurance; cruise speed – 160kts and max dash speed – 180kts.