US Government Delivers Four MD530F Light Utility Helicopters to El Salvador
US Government Delivers Four MD530F Light Utility Helicopters to El Salvador

US Government Delivers Four MD530F Light Utility Helicopters to El Salvador

The US government delivered four MD530F light utility helicopters as donations to the Salvadoran Air Force at Ilopango Airport on 26 October. Two of the aircraft were painted in white UN livery, and will be deployed with the Salvadoran contingent in Mali, while the other two will be used domestically for instruction, light transport, close air support, tactical reconnaissance, border patrol, SAR, maritime patrol, and deployment of special forces units, among other tasks. The donation includes support equipment and consists of tanker trucks, electricity generators and forklifts.

US Government Delivers Four MD530F Light Utility Helicopters to El Salvador
US Government Delivers Four MD530F Light Utility Helicopters to El Salvador. (Photo by Fuerza Armada de El Salvador)

The MD 530F is a light helicopter manufactured by MD Helicopters (formerly McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems). It was developed as a successor to the MD 500E light utility helicopter. The MD Helicopters MD 500 series is an American family of light utility civilian and military helicopters. The MD 500 was developed from the Hughes 500, a civilian version of the US Army’s OH-6A Cayuse/Loach. The series currently includes the MD 500E, MD 520N, and MD 530F. Following the 1997 Boeing-McDonnell Douglas merger, Boeing sold the former MD civil helicopter lines to MD Helicopters in early 1999. Military variants are marketed under the MD 500 Defender name.

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US Government Delivers Four MD530F Light Utility Helicopters to El Salvador
US Government Delivers Four MD530F Light Utility Helicopters to El Salvador. (Photo by Fuerza Armada de El Salvador)

The MD 530F helicopter is a five-blade, four-passenger, single engine, single pilot capable, multipurpose aircraft specifically designed for meeting extreme requirements in hot-temperature, highaltitude operations. The MD 530F uses a single Rolls-Royce 650 shaft horsepower (shp) turboshaft engine is currently in use globally by commercial, government, and foreign military operators. The cabin is optionally compatible with night vision googles (NVGs) and also includes all the required civil and tactical communications and navigation systems. In addition, the aircraft incorporates an enhanced glass cockpit design.

US Government Delivers Four MD530F Light Utility Helicopters to El Salvador
US Government Delivers Four MD530F Light Utility Helicopters to El Salvador. (Photo by Fuerza Armada de El Salvador)

The dual flight controls allow the pilot and co-pilot, or instructor and student complete, simultaneous access to the aircraft controls and displays. The fuselage is a teardrop-shaped semi-monocoque type construction manufactured primarily of aluminum alloy bulkheads and stringers, with the outer skin of aluminum panels, providing clean aerodynamic lines. The airframe structure is designed to be energy absorbing and fails progressively in the event of impact. The A-frame fuselage design serves as a built-in roll cage to protect the pilot and crew in case of a rollover situation.

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