THE FIRST production model of the MD 600N helicopter had its maiden flight at the McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems (MDHS) Mesa plant in Arizona on 15 December.

MDHS experimental test pilot Chan Morse flew the MD 600N for 30min, reaching a top speed of around 100kt (185km/h) in forward flight. The helicopter was also taken to an altitude of more than 1,000ft (300m) and was flown sideward and backward at speeds of up to 20kt. Morse also performed pedal turns in and out of ground effect.

The NOTAR (no tail-rotor anti-torque system)-equipped aircraft is a stretched eight-seat version of the MD 520N. It is expected to be certificated, later in 1996.

Source: Flight International