MD 902 Helicopter
The MD 902 helicopter is one of two MD Explorers created by MD Helicopters, Inc. The helicopter was originally designed in the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems. Design began in January of 1989. The helicopter would originally be referred to as the MDX. It was the first helicopter to incorporate a No Tail Rotor (NOTAR) from its conception.
During the development, ten prototypes were tested, most of which were tested on the ground. The first flight occured on December 18th, 1992. Certification from the FAA and the JAA came in 1994.
In 1997, several improvements were made to the design of the explorer, which resulted in the creation of the MD 902 helicopter. The turboshafts were improved with greater single engine inoperative ratings. The NOTAR system was given more stability control and a higher performance inlet system. The engine inlets were improved as well. These improvements increased the weight that the helicopter could carry, as well as its range.
The Explorer as a whole is generally considered to be one of the most advanced helicopters in its sector of the market. The NOTAR system, designed by Boeing, reduces noise, increases safety and stability, and better control. Rather than using a tail rotor, the system uses carefully controlled fan exhaust slits to give the helicopter is yaw control.
The five blade main rotor needs no bearings, and uses composite blades. The fuselage and tail are made from high strength, lightweight carbon fiber.
The MD 902 helicopter is the enhanced version of the MD Explorer. It has Category A approval, and is driven by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206E or PW207E. Except for the very first seven helicopters built, older explorers can be upgraded into the MD 902 helicopter. The instrument display system is improved, and the engine isolation is enhanced.