Helicopters Magazine

Donaldson IBFs approved for AW139

February 5, 2015  By Donaldson

March 5, 2015, Orlando, Fla. - Donaldson Aerospace & Defense has announced that Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland has received European Aviation Safety Agency approval for installation of Donaldson’s Inlet Barrier Filter (IBF) system on the AW139.

EASA’s issuance of a type certificate in February 2015 will allow more operators of the intermediate-size AgustaWestland helicopter to maximize protection for its twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67C engines. They also will save tens of thousands of euros per aircraft in maintenance costs while preserving more power for mission performance.

“Worldwide, operators recognize the AW139’s unique capabilities in protecting individuals, government leaders and key economic sectors,” said Bob Stenberg, Business Development Director at Donaldson Aerospace & Defense in St. Louis. “EASA’s TC approval allows engine protection of even more aircraft during critical missions.

The new type certificate covers AW139s registered in the European Union and other nations that accept EASA certifications. Donaldson’s IBF system previously had been approved under supplemental type certificates for the AW139 by the U.S. FAA, Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) and Transport Canada.

Under the EASA approval, customers can select to have the Donaldson IBF installed on their aircraft on the AgustaWestland production line. Installation also is available as a retrofit.EASA certification also allows FOD (Foreign Object Damage) Protection installation. Donaldson’s Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) supplement will be aligned to the AgustaWestland’s Type Certificate.


The IBF offers significantly better engine protection and performance than traditional sand filters or inertial particle separators without performance or drag penalties. The drop-in system has minimal installation impact. For the AW139, it includes two low-drag, conformal fore and aft fairing assemblies with two filters per side that are removed easily for fast filter exchange. Those assemblies are mounted on existing engine doors to create sealed intake plenums. Each filter has a 4,500 flight-hour service life. IBF-equipped AW139s are approved for Category A operation and can use basic inlet charts after a satisfactory power assurance check.

As with all certified Donaldson IBFs, the AW139 system includes an alternate inlet air bypass system – an important feature not available in most sand filters and particle separators. A simple, compact cockpit switch activates the bypass system and indicates its status. The IBF’s integral Filter Maintenance Aid allows for pre-/post-flight, on-condition inspections between established cleaning intervals. This assists in mission planning and eliminates unnecessary service.


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