MDHI Contracts with New Composite Manufacturers for Production Components and Spares

July 20, 2021

MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) signed new contracts with Unitech Composites and ACT Aerospace to improve production and spare parts availability for the MD 902, MD 520N, and MD 600N aircraft.

“MD is on a mission to deliver on our promises to customers, including significantly boosting our spares availability,” says Nick Nenadovic, MDHI Vice President of Customer Support. “Our new Vice President of Supply Chain Mario Coracides and his team are meeting this challenge head-on. This is only the beginning of our new momentum toward full spares support for every customer.”

Coracides and the MDHI teams in the supply chain, quality, and engineering departments worked closely to qualify these new parts suppliers.

“While customer spares requirements are more challenging to predict, we must have them in stock or be able to quickly deliver to them,” Coracides says. “We carefully sourced and selected these key suppliers based on their technical capabilities, experience, and track record of perfect quality, on-time delivery, and competitive cost solutions. We have already kicked off these two programs with ACT and Unitech and expect to be receiving parts by early 2022.”

MDHI contracted with Unitech Composites of Hayden, Idaho, to supply pitch cases, flex beams, and main rotor blades for the MD 902. The pitch cases have been in production for several months, and MDHI already has over two dozen in stock. The flex beam program is well underway, with multiple test samples manufactured and inspected with NDI and destructive testing. MDHI expects flex beams to be in stock this summer. Additionally, all proven MD 902 rotor blade tooling is now located at Unitech’s facility and used for blade manufacturing. Once appropriate development articles and qualification testing is complete, MDHI expects rotor blades to be in stock in 2022.

“Unitech Composites is highly qualified to build these components for the MD 902,” says Unitech Composites Vice President and General Manager Joyce Hagues. “We deliver advanced composite structures today across a wide range of aircraft from the AH-64 Apache to the JSF F-35. We are pleased to add the MD 902 to our fleet of supported aircraft.”

MDHI contracted with ACT Aerospace of Gunnison, Utah, to manufacture the MD 520N and MD 600N tail boom and empennage. MDHI has transferred all production tooling necessary for these parts’ manufacture to ACT Aerospace. Spares of each of these parts are expected to be delivered to MDHI’s Mesa facility this fall.

“ACT is pleased to put our more than four decades of aerospace composites production experience to work developing new tail booms and empennages for the MDHI single- and twin-engine NOTAR fleet,” says ACT Aerospace CEO Roland Christensen. “We look forward to helping MDHI move the needle on faster spare parts turnaround.”