The MD Helicopters MD-900 Explorer (ICAO: EXPL / WAKE: LIGHT) is a light utility civilian and military helicopter. Created in Second Life by Spijkers & Wingtips and Virtual Syl Designs, the helicopter was based on the real-life MD 900 Explorer designed in the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems and currently produced by MD Helicopters, Inc.
The real-life MD Explorer is notable for utilizing the NOTAR anti-torque system rather than using a conventional tail-rotor. NOTAR features benefits such as increased safety, far lower noise levels and performance and controllability enhancements. Instead of an anti-torque tail rotor, a fan exhaust is directed out of slots in the tail boom, using the Coandă effect for yaw control. The Explorer also features an advanced bearingless five blade main rotor with composite blades, plus carbon-fibre construction tail and fuselage.
Spijkers & Wingtips's MD-900 Explorer comes equipped with a fully-featured pilot's heads-up display (HUD), functioning cockpit instruments, working doors, emergency floatation system, cargo winch, and realistic lighting (navigation lights, strobes, beacon, and front-facing search light). The Explorer also comes with a menu-based texture changer with six pre-loaded liveries and is fully modifiable, with independent vendors developing additional equipment and liveries for the helicopter. Like all S&W helicopters, the aircraft uses an incremental collective/cyclic flight system.
- Pilot's heads-up display (HUD) attachment.
- Functioning cockpit instruments with:
- Altimeter, vertical speed, airspeed, compass, artificial horizon, and fuel gauge indicators.
- Electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) with region mapping.
- Instrument lighting.
- Animated components (main rotor, tail boom, x4 entry hatches, x1 rear luggage hatch).
- Exterior lighting (navigation lights, strobes, beacon, and front-facing search light).
- Cargo winch system with cargo hook.
- Emergency floatation system (optional).
- Menu-based texture changer with six pre-loaded liveries.
- Incremental collective/cyclic flight system.
- Optional simulated fuel (DSA Fuel).