EASA certifies FastFin Tail Rotor Enhancement
Jan. 17, 2013, Cologne, Ger. - The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the FastFin Tail Rotor Enhancement and Stability System for installation and flight on Bell 205 helicopters. BLR Aerospace recently received EASA approval for FastFin on Bell 212 helicopters and certification efforts are underway for the Bell 412.
By Carey Fredericks
Following up on the successful FastFin certification for Bell 212s, European operators can now realize the same performance improvements on Bell 205s. Hover load, wind azimuth tolerance, hover stability and safety are all now significantly enhanced with the BLR FastFin System.
"With FastFin, most operators will receive between a 10 and 90 percent increase in useful load depending on specific model and density altitude," said Dave Marone, vice president of sales and marketing for BLR Aerospace. "European operators flying in demanding conditions and challenging environments can expect measurable improvements in safety and reduced pilot workload by adding FastFin to their Bell mediums."
EASA certification is good news for long-time BLR customer Agrarflug Helilift. Based in Ahlen, Germany, the company operates a large fleet of Bell medium and light helicopters for missions ranging from firefighting to offshore transport. "Agrarflug has been using BLR performance modification products for over eight years, and look forward to installing the recently certified FastFin on our Bell 212s," according to Technical Manager Hans Kraskes. "We fully expect FastFin to enhance safety and reduce pilot workload while providing better hot and high performance."
Popular in Europe, the combined fleet of Bell and Agusta Bell mediums total several hundred in number.
In 2010, Bell Helicopter made FastFin standard equipment on new Bell 412EPs, and today nearly 500 FastFin systems are operating worldwide, supporting diverse missions ranging from airborne law enforcement to 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 authority and wind azimuth tolerance. FastFin also reduces operating costs and reduces cycle fatigue in structures and demands on tail rotor rotating components.