Donaldson Aerospace & Defense, a subsidiary of Donaldson Company, Inc. (NYSE: DCI) announced today that its Universal Filter Module (UFM) has been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for installation and use on Sikorsky Aircraft S-61 and H-3 helicopters.
The FAA issued the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for an Inlet Barrier Filter System (IBF) to The Coulson Group of Companies, which co-developed the S-61/H-3 installation along with Donaldson.
The UFM is a subsystem of the IBF, which will protect engines on those helicopters from 99 percent of airborne contaminants with minimal loss in hover performance. A Port Alberni, British Columbia-headquartered business, Coulson operates S-61s in Azerbaijan, British Columbia and Australia’s state of Victoria. The Coulson Group obtained a Canadian STC for the system from Transport Canada in mid-2015.
Upon receiving FAA certification, Donaldson and Coulson announced that aviation services leader AAR Airlift had ordered four systems and plans to purchase five more units plus sparing in the coming months. Given its expertise and operations in austere environments, AAR plans to use the IBFs on its nine S-61N helicopters currently operating in Africa.
Donaldson will display its latest filtration system products, including the UFM, March 1-3 in Exhibit 2400 during the 2016 HAI HELI-EXPO annual gathering in Louisville, Ky.
In addition to the S-61/H-3, the UFM can be adapted to a wide range of heavy, twin-engine helicopters, including the Mil Mi8/17 series and Airbus Helicopters Super Puma series.
“As part of the first Inlet Barrier Filter available for the S-61 and H-3, the UFM will protect the safety, reliability and efficiency of these and other workhorse helicopters,” said Matt Fortuna, General Manager of Donaldson Aerospace & Defense. “We were proud to team with Coulson to add critical capabilities needed by helicopter fleet operators around the world who perform essential missions for civilian, governmental and military customers.”
Donaldson developed the UFM’s filter modules to prevent dirt, dust, sand and foreign objects from damaging helicopters’ engines and degrading their performance. Coulson developed the aircraft interface (or “A kit”) for installation on the Sikorsky helicopters. S-61s and H-3s perform missions around the world ranging from firefighting, logging and VIP transport to anti-submarine warfare, maritime patrol and search and rescue, often flying in extremely challenging conditions.
The UFM system includes a low-drag filtration solution that is mounted forward of the engine inlets, and three filter elements that are easily accessible and removable for service (with a 4,500-hour service life). It also includes a translating, forward-facing dome for emergency bypass – an important feature absent in most traditional sand filters and particle separators.
A simple and compact cockpit switch, common with existing Donaldson certified Inlet Barrier Filter systems, allows indication and activation of the bypass system. An Integral Filter Maintenance Aid also allows for on-condition inspections pre- and post-flight to assist in mission planning and visual inspection of filter condition.