Tempe, Ariz.-based Van Horn Aviation conducted the initial test flight of its composite MD500 main rotor blades last week on an MD530F. The four-hour flight took place at the MD Helicopters plant on April 7 in Mesa, following a static pull test in late March that displayed the blade’s capability to withstand static load of more than 47,000 lbs. Van Horn will now design and build the production tooling required for FAA certification testing. Flight trials are scheduled to resume in third quarter 2011.
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