9-Jun-2010 Source: Van Horn Aviation
OH-58 helicopter operators now have an aftermarket choice for tail rotor blades. The FAA recently issued an amended Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the Van Horn Aviation (VHA) 206B/L series composite tail rotor blade to include OH-58A+ and OH-58C models after reviewing flight and engineering data submitted by the company.
â€œThe City of Pasadena (California) Police Department has been flying our blades on public-use OH-58â€™s for several months, initially to evaluate noise reduction benefits and later for the increased performance,â€ said VHA president James Van Horn. â€œThe amended STC now allows Restricted Category OH-58 operators to experience the physical and fiscal benefits of VHA blades.â€
Van Horn Aviation (VHA) tail rotor blades installed on a City of Pasadena (CA) OH-58 helicopter. VHA blades are easily recognizable by their two-stripe paint configuration versus the OEM’s three-stripe configuration. Photo by Sgt. Mike Ingram, courtesy of City of Pasadena Police Department.
The VHA OH-58 tail rotor blade features corrosion and damage-resistant carbon fiber skin, titanium root fitting, electroformed nickel abrasion strip, and stainless steel pitch bearings. The bladeâ€™s rugged construction contributes to its 5,000-hour life limit, which is double the service life of the OEM blade at a competitive price. The laminar flow airfoil and shaped tip design result in up to a 40 percent decrease in overall aircraft noise according to FAA-mandated acoustics testing. Operators currently flying the VHA blades also report increased tail rotor authority
City of Pasadena (CA) Police Department uses an OH-58 equipped with Van Horn Aviation tail rotor blades to dry the field at Rose Bowl Stadium prior to the 2010 Tournament of Roses football game. Photo by Sgt. Mike Ingram, courtesy of City of Pasadena Police Department.
â€œOne of our primary missions is surveillance, and occasionally you have to operate in a non-ground-effect hover to keep your eyes on the target,â€ said Sergeant Michael Ingram, one of eight Pasadena Police pilots flying the OH-58â€™s bearing VHA blades. â€œThe extra tail rotor authority gives you more control and more power in low speed situations.â€
About Van Horn Aviation
Based in Tempe, AZ., Van Horn Aviation specializes in the design, certification and manufacturing of aftermarket dynamic components for various rotorcraft. In addition to the 206/OH-58 tail rotor blade, VHA also produces an aftermarket carbon fiber tail rotor blade for various models of the UH-1.