Inlet Barrier Filters (IBF) from Aerospace Filtration Systems, Inc. (AFS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Donaldson Company, Inc. (NYSE:DCI) and a division of the Aerospace & Defense group, are enhancing the safety and effectiveness of helicopter operations in one of the worldâ€™s most difficult and extreme flying environments.
Both Fishtail Air and Air Dynasty, important rotary wing operators in Nepal, utilize Donaldson IBFs on their fleets of Eurocopter AS350 B2 and B3 helicopters. An IBF-equipped AS350B3 recently performed a record-breaking aerial rescue on Mount Annapurna, airlifting three mountain climbers from a 6,900 meter-high location. A similar extreme rescue was performed on Mount Manaslu at 6,500 meters.
Nepal is situated in the heart of the Himalaya mountain range. The countryâ€™s northern border with the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China contains eight of the ten highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, the highest, and more than 240 peaks that are at least 20,000 feet above sea level. In addition to flying vital search and rescue and emergency medical evacuation missions for the regionâ€™s numerous mountaineering and trekking expeditions, Fishtail Air and Air Dynasty also conduct aerial sightseeing tours in this spectacular landscape.
â€œMountain rescues are among the most challenging flights helicopters perform,â€ said Robert Stenberg, AFS Business Development Director. â€œIf any foreign objects or debris were to enter an engine intake, it could result in power loss, forcing a landing in some of the worldâ€™s most inhospitable terrain and compounding the rescue problem.â€
â€œBoth Fishtail Air and Air Dynasty are acutely focused on safety,â€ Stenberg continued. â€œAnd, of course, no operator wants to contend with unscheduled maintenance or, worse, an engine replacement.â€
Stenberg added that Donaldson expects to provide additional IBFs for the operatorsâ€™ newly acquired AS350s to ensure they enjoy the same performance capabilities of their current fleets. â€œEven at the Himalaya Rangeâ€™s extreme altitudes, Donaldson IBFs provide superb protection for rotorcraft engine intakes without degrading the AS350â€™s lift capabilities or creating any engine inlet imposed flight or gross weight restrictions,â€ Stenberg concluded. â€œEven on the roof of the world, Donaldson gets the job done.â€
Donaldsonâ€™s AS350 IBF system utilizes a removable flat filter assembly with a 4,500 flight hour life and an integral bypass design, easily mounted on the existing cowl with no alterations. A filter maintenance aid permits on-condition status checks between established cleaning intervals, eliminating unnecessary service. The system operates with no flight restrictions in falling or blowing snow. With more than 3,000 Donaldson IBF kits in service worldwide and more than two million flight hours, AS350 users will realize significantly better engine protection and performance than that offered by traditional AS350 sand filters or inertial particle separators.
Providing the most comprehensive line of IBF solutions, Donaldson Aerospace & Defense is the industry leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance engine IBF systems for commercial and military propulsion systems. Through their Donaldson St. Louis location, Donaldson provides IBF solutions for the following platforms:
Commercially Certified Inlet Barrier Filters
- AgustaWestland A119 Koala, AW119Ke and AW139
- Bell 205A1, 206B, 407, 206L-3/4, 206L-1(C30), 429 and 430
- Eurocopter EC130, AS350 B/BA/B1/B2/B3, AS350B3 Dual Hydraulics, AS350â€™s with Soloy or Heli-Lynx Honeywell engine conversions
- MD Helicopters MD 369H Series, MD 500D/E/F and MD 900/902
Military Qualified Engine IBFs and Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) IBFs
- Bell OH-58A/C Kiowa, TH-57 & TH-67 Trainer, OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, UH-1H Huey
- Boeing AH-64A Apache, CH-47 Chinook, AH/MH-6 Little Bird, AH-6i
- Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk, SH-60 Seahawk
IBF solutions for the AgustaWestland AW109 Power and Grand, Eurocopter EC135 as well as the Bell 206L are currently in development.
About Donaldson Aerospace & Defense
Donaldson Aerospace and Defense is a leading worldwide provider of filtration systems for the aerospace and defense industry. Our filtration solutions protect fixed wing aircraft, rotorcraft, military ground vehicles, electronic equipment, space vehicles, missiles, military shipboard systems and amphibious vehicles. We are committed to advancing filtration technology, providing quality products and prompt customer service. Our group serves customers from sales, engineering and manufacturing locations around the world.
About Donaldson Company
Donaldson is a leading worldwide provider of filtration systems that improve peopleâ€™s lives, enhance our customersâ€™ equipment performance, and protect our environment. We are a technology-driven company committed to satisfying our customersâ€™ needs for filtration solutions through innovative research and development, application expertise, and global presence. Our employees contribute to the companyâ€™s success by supporting our customers at our more than 100 sales, manufacturing, and distribution locations around the world.
Donaldson is a member of the S&P MidCap 400 and Russell 1000 indices, and our shares trade on the NYSE under the symbol DCI. Additional information is available at www.donaldson.com.
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