2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to the aircraft manufacturing industry, but also some opportunities; what changes and improvements has MDHI made to its processes in the wake of the pandemic?
MD Helicopters has and continues to take the COVID 19 virus very seriously. Our employees are our discriminators in the aerospace world, and we want to take every precaution necessary to ensure their safety. Where work from home made sense, we utilized this approach, and of course elsewhere, we maintained adherence to the US Center for Disease Control guidelines. Notwithstanding, we have continued to produce aircraft and support our fleet worldwide.
Many governmental budgets have been hit hard by the pandemic as healthcare costs have spiraled; will defense budgets be adversely impacted do you think by this, or will investment in ﬂeet renewal still be on the agenda for most nations?
Regardless, Department of Defense and Ministry of Defence budgets worldwide are always an issue, pandemic notwithstanding! However, the pandemic seemed to have a greater impact on the commercial aerospace industry. Pandemic or not, militaries need to continue to do what they do in defense of their country. Although large-scale spending might have dipped, most nations that we are working with are continuing with aircraft purchases, support of current fleets, and fleet replacements.
Is there one particular model of MD helicopter that is most popular with military procurement ofﬁcers? Does this change from region to region, and how important is geography and climate when it comes to selecting the right model for the job at hand?
As a general rule, our 530F platform regardless of configured as a 530G Block II or a Cayuse Warrior seems to be the aircraft of choice for most countries to fill their light attack/scout mission profile. The 530F is also the aircraft of choice for most law enforcement, public safety and various city or state municipality use as well.
Versatility in helicopters that allow them to perform a full range of mission proﬁles is essential for defense forces; how does MDHI work to ensure their aircraft can perform the demanding tasks that will be required of them?
The very nature of the MD portfolio is versatility, and the platforms perform most missions required by militaries, police departments, VIP, utility, trainers and construction operators.
How did your experience with TAT Technologies prepared you for your new role with MDHI?
From spending over 20 years in the military, to now 20 years in the commercial world, I’ve found that every job, company and position prepares you for the next one. TAT is a great company focusing on MRO, which harkened me back to my military days as a maintenance test pilot. However, GE Aviation, Goodrich, and Ultra Electronics all taught me much on my journey to MDHI!!
What are you most looking forward to about working in commercial and military sales for MDHI?
MDHI is an iconic company with a great product and portfolio, whose aircraft are loved by every operator that flies them. The company is positioned to garner great growth over the next five years, and I’m honored and excited about being part of that team. It’s not your father’s MD Helicopters, and you should look forward to great things to come!!