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MD Helicopters engine upgrade for MD 520N, MGTOW upgrade for MD 530F

July 27, 2023  By Helicopters Staff

MD Helicopters has begun an STC project that will certify the use of a Rolls Royce 250-C30 engine in the MD 520N, which features the company’s patented NOTAR tailboom. STC certification is expected before the end of 2023.

MD Helicopters (MDH) will license a select number of MDH Authorized Service Centers around the world to perform the upgrade, which aims to significantly boost the MD 520N’s hot-high performance while reducing maintenance costs. MDH is partnering with Columbia Helicopters Inc. to establish the STC. Each upgrade is expected to take one to two months to complete.

“MDH’s new leadership made a commitment to strengthen and support our proven line of highly revered helicopters and this is another delivery on that promise,” said MD Helicopter President and CEO Brad Pedersen. “There are 85 MD 520N helicopters flying today. This engine upgrade offers an improvement for those aircraft by significantly boosting power, performance, and cost savings for MD 520N NOTAR operators.”

MDH points to the following benefits of the -C30 engine upgrade at 4,700 ft density altitude: Hover with 300 more lb on a hot day; 15 per cent increase of available SHP on a hot day; 15 per cent increase of TOT margins; and again improved maintenance costs.


MDH is also offering its MD 530F Maximum Gross Take Off Weight (MGTOW) Upgrade to operators of all MD 530F model helicopters. The upgrade increases MGTOW from 3,100 to 3,350 lb.

The MGTOW upgrade is an internal weight increase. VNE with the new MGTOW is 150 knots. Maximum external load gross weight, minimum flying weight, and the center of gravity remain unchanged.

The upgrade consists of a new rotorcraft flight manual (RFM) supplement assigned to the aircraft serial number and a VNE IAS (knots) placard reflecting the increased MGTOW for display in the aircraft. Any MDH Authorized Service Center can perform the upgrade. Depending on service centre workload availability, MD 530F MGTOW upgrades could be performed in less than a month from request.


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