The MD Helicopter Inc MD-900 is a twin-engine light utility helicopter that can accommodate up to 9 passengers.
McDonnell Douglas Helicopters started in 1988 with the development of the MD-900 as the MDX,
an entirely new design. The MDX design incorporated the NOTAR system, a carbon fibre fuselage
and tail and an advanced five-bladed main rotor with composite blades. The NOTAR (No Tail Rotor)
system that was incorporated in the design dates back to late 1975, when Hughes engineers began
initial concept development work. The No Tail Rotor system eliminates
the tail rotor and relies on an aerodynamic principle called the Coanda
effect to create circulation around a circular tail boom with two slots
along the length of the tailboom. In 1984, Hughes Helicopters became a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas,
and was subsequently re-designated the McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company. The first flight of the MD-900,
powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206B turboshaft engines, took place on 18 December 1992. The
second prototype starting its tests on 17 September 1993 and the third on 16 December 1993. The
first production MD-900 Explorer made its maiden flight on 3 August 1994. FAA certification for the MD 900
was granted on 2 December 1994 and the first delivery followed on 16 December 1994. With McDonnell Douglas'
merger with Boeing in 1997 the MD 900 became a Boeing product. In a restructuring exercise for the new company
it was decided to disposal of the civil helicopter business. On 16 February 1999, the new formed MD Helicopters Inc.,
an indirect subsidiary of the RDM Group of Joep van den Nieuwenhuijzen, purchased the light helicopter operations
from The Boeing Company, including the MD 900 Explorer. In 2004, the MD Helicopters Inc of Mesa, Arizona ran into turbulence
when technical problems delayed the delivery of 13 helicopters to customers in Germany and the Netherlands.
The US investment firm Patriarch Partners LLC bought in July 2005 a majority stake in MD Helicopters from
the RDM Holdings N.V. based in the Netherlands, and started revitalizing the company.
Mid-90s, the SA.330 Puma helicopters in service with the Belgian Police
Force had to be replaced by a twin-engined medium size helicopter. The
aircraft had to be equipped with special observation equipment and
cleared for night operations. After analyses of the available
helicopters, the MD 900 Explorer came out as the most interesting choice
for the Police. The Belgian Government signed a contract for delivery of
three MD 900 helicopters. The first aircraft of the type was delivered
at Brussels-Melsbroek on 21 January 1997, the second on 12 August 1997
and the third on 23 July 2001. The Belgian Police Explorers are fully
IFR equipped and have specialised law enforcement equipment like a
powerful searchlight. The three MDHI MD-900 helicopters in service with the Dienst Luchtsteun Federale Politie / Service D'appui
Aérien Police Fédérale at Melsbroek are c/n 900-00034
callsign 'OT-GIA'; c/n 900-00045 G-11 callsign 'OT-GIB' and c/n 900-00038 G-12
callsign 'OT-GIC'. On 23 September 2010, the Belgian Council of Ministers has agreed the purchase of a secondhand MDHI MD-902 helicopter
for the Dienst Luchtsteun Federale Politie / Service D'appui Aérien Police Fédérale. As soon as this MD-902
Explorer has entered service with the Federale Politie
/ Police Fédérale, the three MDHI MD-900
helicopters will be modified into MDHI MD-902 helicopters.
The 2008-built MDHI MD-902 Explorer c/n 900-00132 was test flown as N40216. On 14 August 2009, the helicopter was temporarely registered
OY-HMS with CASA Air A/S, Horsens, Denmark. On 15 October 2009, the OY-HMS was registered and on 14 June 2010
the registration of the OY-HMS changed back to temporarely registered. In September 2010, the MD-902 was sold to Belgian Government for use with the Federale
Politie / Police Fédérale as G-16. On 11 October 2010, the G-16 was seen at Groningen Airport on delivery from Odense to Brussels-Melsbroek.