The James Bond Vehicle Library

MD Explorer Helicopter
Zao escapng Bond and Jinx

Published 27/12-2014
Updated 27/12-2014 06:12

Content

Notes

With this helicopter Zao is flying out of serious trouble, evading Bond and Jinx assasination efforts.

MD900 or MD Explorer helicopter design started in 1989, first flight ocurred in December 1992. Design since beginning included NOTAR control system (NO TAil Rotor) - anti-torque solution without the rear rotor, which reduces the vibration and noise generated by the machine, improving its reliability. In 1997 the improved MD902 version appeared. MD900 and MD902 version codes were quite common but unofficial and with next upgrade MD finally claimed them, issuing a message to refer the machines as "MD Explorer" no matter which engine version was applied.

For the movie purposes Explorer was loaned from Eastern Atlantic Helicopters together with his smaller brother MD600N. Company owner Simon Oliphant Hope flew both machines. Original reg marks have been masked with fictious CU-H13 and labels suggesting that chopper belongs to the Cuban military medical unit....Scenes were shot in Spain. 

Our actor was born in 1993 and received serial number 900-00010. Registered as N9208V. By default it was treated as a demo and development unit, so its CV is full of interesting points like: Tests in Swedish Army, European marketing tours, Test in US Coast Guard, (serious one - being modified to MH90 Enforcer, chopper was refitted with stronger PW206 engines and some armory)... More details on this project to be found in the MH-90 Enforcer link.

Early in 2002 during its promotional journey in UK it was caught up for Bond movie.

In 2007 the chopper changed registration number to N555WA and served till April 2012. Put on sales and found a new owner in Mexico for approx. 2,250,000 USD. Registration changed to XA-FAA.

by MS

007 relation

Die Another Day (2002)

  • Villain/henchmens vehicle

Technical data

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1–2
  • Capacity: 6 Passengers
  • Payload: 2,565 lb internal or 3,000 lb slung load (1,163 kg or 1,361 kg respectively)
  • Length: 32 ft 4 in (9.85 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 33 ft 10 in (10.31 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 0 in (3.66 m)
  • Disc area: 899.0 sq ft (83.52 m2)
  • Empty weight: 3,375 lb (1,531)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 6,250 lb (2,835 kg) (internal load), 6,900 lb (3,129 kg) (slung load)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206E turboshaft, 571 shp (427 kW) (continuous) each

Performance

  • Never exceed speed: 140 knots (161 mph, 259 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 134 knots (154 mph, 248 km/h) at sea level (max. cruise)
  • Range: 293 nmi (337 mi, 542 km) at 5,000 ft (1,500 m)
  • Endurance: 3 hr 12 min
  • Service ceiling: 17,500 ft (5,335 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,000 ft/min (5.1 m/s)
  • Hover ceiling: 11,000 ft (3,400 m) (in ground effect, International Standard Atmosphere)

Registration number:  CU-H13

Sources

Links:

  • Aeroboek.nl - Helicopter history database. Dutch helicopter fan project. - Recording contemporary aviation today is building historical aviation records for the future.
  • MD Helicopters - Manufacturer of MH helicopters used in several James Bond films.
  • MH-90 Enforcer - Project details of MD Explorer modified to MH-90 Enforcer for test for US Coast Guard.
  • NOTAR system - The NOTAR system - How it works.