Updated 28/05-2014 10:05
Updated 28/05-2014 10:05
This is one of the most beatuful and succesful small helicopter appearing in a Bond film.
In "Die another Day" this machine saves Bond and Jinx life working in unbelievable conditions - as escape pod from the AN-124 falling off the sky.
In "Casino Royale" it serves as a taxi, bringing 007 (in normal conditions) to the Dimitrios house on Bahamas.
MD600N is larger version of the MD520N - which in sequence has roots in the military Hughes helicopter series, developed further by McDonnell Douglas company after acquisition of the original manufacturer. This version is equipped with NOTAR - anti-torque and flight control system using air flow instead tail rotor to control the machine. Thanks to this invention helicopter is fast, much more reliable and quiet.
Helicopter used in "Casino Royale" - Serial number RN042 was manufactured in year 1998. For movie it was loaned/hired probably from K-Tek Aircraft company.
In February 2007 the helicopter suffered in an accident - due to power loss during flight it had to do emergency landing by autorotating. No casualties, but the blades chopped the tailboom. www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief.aspx
The owner decided to sell the machine - It was bought by Aradian Aviation, who repaired it and it regained operational status. Machine then was sold to Canadian company for ca 1.2 Mln USD, repainted and reregistered C-FIHL. It is still operational, in June 2012 it was available for sale.
Die Another Day
Helicopter used in "Die Another Day" - Serial number RN023, built in 1997, Registered N511VA in 1998. In 2001 it was owned by Eastern Atlantic Helicopters and hired for the movie purposes together with the MD Explorer. Company owner Simon Oliphant Hope "doubled" Pierce Brosnan for this short flight scenes.
In 2004 helicopter was sold to the private owner in Belgium. Helicopter is still operational and currently (February 2013) for sale through Aradian Aviation. Seems they are lucky following the Bond machines :). Called price ca. 1 mln USD seems to be a real occasion since its TTSN (Total Time Since New - mean working hours) is really low - less than 900h for 16years old machine. http://www.aeroboek.nl/600/RN-023.HTM
There is another MD600N making its "cameo appearance" in this film, RN057 built in 2000 and registered N70457 was assumed as experimental unit. Usually such assignment is not a good forecast and indeed it wasn't - Chopper crashed in Aug 2001 and was cancelled from the registers. After the crash investigation the remains were returned to the owner - MD Helicopters. EAH as direct MD dealer took the benefit of the wreck - Cockpit after small reworks took function for the internal helicopter shots and close-ups in the movie. Thanks to Jan Makkus for pointing me this information.
Registration number in "Casino Royale" - N451DL
Registration number in "Die another day" - N511VA