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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: Tilton Cites Progress In Reviving MD

HELI-EXPO 2007

New management is making progress in reversing problems of an MD Helicopters that was "20 years broken," but it will take years to complete that process, according the manufacturer’s CEO.

"This is a company that’s 20 years broken," said Lynn Tilton, whose New York investment firm Patriarch Partners bought MD in mid-2005, in her second Heli-Expo press briefing. "It’s not a one-year fix. It’s not a two-year fix. This is a five-year turnaround."

MD has started accepting single-engine fuselages from a Patriarch plant in Monterrey, Mexico and made gains in reducing aircraft grounded while awaiting delivery of parts. It is focusing on reducing the number of suppliers it uses (from about 300 now) and building relationships with those that remain. But, Tilton said, MD is still struggling with some suppliers. It is "fighting with [Turkish Aerospace Industries] to get twin-engine fuselages on time and with a payment schedule we can afford."

MD aims to deliver 22 twin MD902s and 26 single-engine MD500s and MD600s.

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