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MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) recently awarded a contract to Liquid Measurement Systems, Inc. (LMS) to design and qualify a new crash-resistant fuel gauging system for new deliveries of the MD 500 series of helicopters with a certification of airworthiness after April 5, 2020. The MD 500 series includes the MD 500E, MD 520N, and MD 530F.
Qualification and testing is expected to begin this year for installation of the new system into the MD 500 series helicopters at MDHI’s Mesa, Arizona, production facility.
MDHI’s MD 500 series are used primarily by law enforcement, private owners, VIP transport and a wide array of commercial utility applications, such as power line installation and maintenance, agricultural spraying, electronic news-gathering, herding, logging, offshore operations, fumigation and general transport.
The crash-resistant fuel systems are rigorously designed to prevent the fuel compartment from rupturing in the event of a crash or hard landing — and the post-crash fire that can occur when fuel and fuel vapor escape and ignite, making an otherwise survivable crash fatal.
LMS’s in-tank fuel probes are the only ones on the market made from carbon fiber, which makes them the lightest in the industry, and virtually immune to corrosion, cracking, dents, or other impacts of field or environmental conditions. These probes are also designed to buckle on impact of crash, which keeps them from puncturing the fuel compartment and causing fuel to escape.
“We are pleased to have been selected by MD Helicopters to provide a higher level of safety for passengers and crew who fly the MD 500N Series,” said LMS president Scott Fewell.
LMS is one of Vermont’s fastest growing aerospace companies, specializing in the design, development and manufacture of fuel measurement technologies for commercial and military aircraft.