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900 vs 902

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MESA, Ariz., Sept. 23, 1996 -- Citing improvements in speed, range, lifting capacity and lower operating costs, McDonnell Douglas has introduced an advanced version of its popular eight-place, twin-turbine MD 900 Explorer helicopter to be known as the MD 902 Explorer.


The new helicopter takes advantage of improvements in technology and a better performing engine. These, plus improvements in the helicopter's basic design, enable the aircraft to achieve air speeds up to 137 kt at sea level, a range up to 312 nautical miles and an endurance of 3.34 hrs with the ability to carry additional internal payload.


These improvements will account for 7 percent greater range, 4 percent greater endurance and 240 lb greater payload than the existing MD 900 Explorer.


Additionally, the MD 902 Explorer will be certified as Category A, which permits greater operating flexibility, particularly in Europe and other locales where more stringent operating rules apply. The helicopter also will be certified for instrument flight rule operations.


Among the physical changes in the aircraft will be improved engine air inlets, new Pratt and Whitney 206E turbine engines, increased one-engine inoperative ratings, improved NOTAR® inlet design and a more powerful stabilizer control system.


"We see the introduction of the MD 902 Explorer as a vital step to stay ahead of the competition," said Dean Borgman, senior vice president of McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems. "By making these changes now, we ensure operators the availability of the most advanced, best-performing helicopter on the market."


The MD 900 Explorer was certified and first deliveries were made in December 1994. Since that time, the company has delivered 25 aircraft to operators in the United States, Japan, Korea, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg.


The company will phase out production of the MD 900 Explorer in 1997 as it transitions to the new model.


"The MD 900 Explorer has been a success for its operators and for the company," Borgman said. "The MD 902 applies the latest airframe and engine technology available today to meet the requirements of operators worldwide. The result is a better performing aircraft with speed, endurance and operating costs that beat the competition.


"We have every expectation that the MD 902 Explorer will be a market leader in its class," he said.

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