MD Helicopters has delivered two converted helicopters to the Columbus, Ohio, Police Department for its return to service. In June, the Columbus Division of Police committed to a revitalization of their Aviation Unit through the MDHI-exclusive, FAA-certified E-to-F Conversion program. The first two of four aircraft to be converted arrived at MDHI's Mesa facility on June 24, 2015. Each aircraft received a complete inspection and all required maintenance was completed. The conversion consisted of an engine upgrade from the Rolls-Royce 250-C20B to the more powerful RR250-C30 as well as replacement of the blades and stabilizers, and the addition of a Fargo Auxiliary Fuel Tank, resulting in increased operational range, flight time and hot-and-high performance capability. Lt. Greg Estep, who oversees the Columbus Police Department helicopter unit, and members of his team accepted delivery of the two newly certified, zero-time F-model helicopters on Sept. 9, and after completing the required Type training, it flew its new, zero-time F-models back to Columbus where they will soon return to active service. Columbus' two remaining MD 500Es will arrive in Mesa this month and return to service with a new, FAA-approved 369FF type certification in December.
Photo courtesy of MD Helicopters