Mar.27, 2014

MD Helicopters, a manufacturer of commercial, air-rescue, military and law enforcement helicopters is developing a new scout helicopter that could feature a hybrid-electric power system, lightweight composites built using 3D printing technology.

MD Helicopters owner Lynn Tilton says a mock-up of the new design could be unveiled at next year's Heli-Expo convention, FightGlobal reports.

Tilton wants to design a hybrid helicopter that could compete with next-generation rivals, but fit with the light, single-engined architecture of its current aircraft.

Tilton believes that one of the ways to get her company back into the mainstream of helicopter production will be through the use of 3D printing. 3D design and printing technology could help the company to produce light weight airframe structure and quickly deliver their products to the market.

Bell Helicopter has been using 3D printing for non-load-bearing structures, but Tilton hopes to take MD forward into rapid production of new and existing helicopters.

Meanwhile, the company will also move the manufacturing of fuel tanks of MD902 light helicopter from Turkey back to the U.S. "We want to control our own destiny. It is too expensive to produce them in Turkey."


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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