EASA approves FastFin System for Bell 412
Sept. 23, 2013, Everett, Wa. - The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the BLR Aerospace FastFin Tail Rotor Enhancement and Stability System for installation and flight on all Bell 412 helicopters. FastFin is already EASA-approved for installation on Bell 204, 205, and 212 helicopters.
By Carey Fredericks
Based on patented technologies, BLR’s flagship FastFin System enables performance improvements in useful load, wind azimuth tolerance and hover stability for Bell medium helicopters.
“European operators have been asking for this certification, and we are pleased to further expand the reach of this remarkable technology,” said Dave Marone, vice president of sales and marketing for BLR Aerospace. “With FastFin installed, Bell 412 operators can realize significant increases in useful load, in some cases as much as 1,250 pounds.”
Operators can also expect to realize a return on their investment in FastFin. With some basic operational parameters, BLR can calculate payback time and the amount of ongoing savings. “Enabled by FastFin, helicopters can carry more while flying the same number of hours, or accomplish the same amount of work in fewer flight hours. It’s a powerful profitability lever,” Marone added.
Bell 212s are popular throughout Europe. BLR estimates that over 100 Bell 204s, 205s and 212s are actively operating in Europe alongside several hundred additional Agusta Bell mediums. BLR is working toward completing STCs for those aircraft.
In 2010, Bell Helicopter made FastFin standard equipment on new Bell 412EPs, and today, more than 550 FastFin systems are operating worldwide supporting diverse missions ranging from airborne law enforcement and airborne medical to heli-skiing and offshore oil transport.
The system includes two parallel stall strips, known as Dual Tailboom Strakes, on the tailboom and a reshaped vertical fin. FastFin optimizes airflow around the tailboom, dramatically improving tail rotor efficiency and wind azimuth tolerance. FastFin also reduces operating costs and reduces cycle fatigue in structures and demands on tail rotor rotating components.