Emergency floats have been cleared for flight duty aboard the new eight-place Boeing MD 600N helicopter, which is entering service around the world.
The inflatable flotation system, produced by Apical Industries, Inc. of Oceanside, Calif., received the supplemental type certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in October. Approval by the FAA enables the versatile MD 600N to operate over water when equipped with the floats.
The floats, which keep the helicopter buoyant in an emergency, can be inflated with nitrogen gas to two pounds per square inch in two to three seconds.
One customer has ordered the floats for their aircraft and four more have expressed interest in the new equipment.
Boeing produces the MD 600N, which features the revolutionary NOTAR® anti-torque system, at its Mesa, Ariz., helicopter facility. The MD 600N was certificated in May 1997.