MD Helicopters has requested a concessionary renegotiation of the land leases for its main plant and offices at Falcon Field in Mesa, Ariz. The company made the petition to the City of Mesa in July after the rent on most of its 46-acre site automatically doubled during the last year under terms of the leases, first signed in 1983 when the company was known as Hughes Helicopters.
MD Helicopters (MDH) last month dismissed as ill-founded “rumors” circulating that the company is for sale.
MD Helicopters completed a restructuring last month in which Patriarch Partners, a New York financial firm, acquired a controlling interest in the Mesa, Ariz. helicopter manufacturer. RDM, a Netherlands-based group that purchased the company from Boeing in 1999, retains a minority interest.
MD Helicopters CEO Lynn Tilton said yesterday that the company plans to deliver 48 helicopters this year even as it continues to struggle with supply-chain issues and clear away the debris left by decades of mismanagement. “It’s not a one-year fix. It’s not a two-year fix. This is a five-year turnaround,” she said of the company.
If helicopter sales at this year’s Heli-Expo had been any better, there might have been an executive conga line snaking its way through the exhibit floor today. Sales reported as of late yesterday had surpassed $732 million, $112 million more than at the same point in the show last year.
At Heli-Expo last year, MD Helicopters CEO Lynn Tilton revealed the details of an ambitious agenda for revitalizing the troubled company. It included plans for building helicopter fuselages in Mexico, bringing more component production in-house and making product-support improvements.
The company is now on the road to recovery, but it hasn’t been easy, Tilton admits, and the work is far from done.
Aerospace Filtration Systems (AFS), the St. Louis manufacturer of inlet barrier filter (IBF) systems for turbine-engine helicopters, has received supplemental type certificates (STCs) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for IBFs on the Bell 407, 206L-3 and 206L-4.
The award of the U.S. Presidential VXX contract a few days before Heli-Expo was a hot topic in the Anaheim Convention Center last month. The decision went to the Lockheed Martin US-101, a helicopter with British and Italian roots, and came as a surprise to the many observers who assumed that Connecticut-based Sikorsky had the inside track with its newer S-92.
Just two days before submitting its February 7 bid for the U.S. Army’s new armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH) based on a variant of the MD 500, aerospace giant Boeing signed an agreement to make a multimillion-dollar cash investment in MD Helicopters (MDHI). Although MDHI CEO Henk Schaeken would not disclose the exact value of the investment during an interview at last month’s Heli-Expo, he did indicate that it is not contingent
In response to recommendations of the joint industry/government International Helicopter Safety Team, MD Helicopters will include as standard equipment on all its aircraft wire-strike protection systems, cockpit voice and video recorders, health and usage monitoring systems and terrain awareness warning systems starting next year.