BLR Aerospace has completed its first fleet sale of the FastFin® Tail Rotor Enhancement and Stability System for Airbus H125 helicopters and will introduce its lead-the-fleet customer at HAI HELI-EXPO 2017 in Dallas.
Brainerd Aviation purchased four systems in December, becoming the first operator to select the FastFin, which uses advanced airflow management to increase the effectiveness of the H125 anti-torque system for significant increases to useful load and aircraft stability, especially in hot/high conditions.
BLR has scheduled a “Lead the Fleet” celebration at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7, at the BLR exhibit
(No. 11343). The event will include a special presentation to Bart Brainerd of Brainerd Aviation, which operates a wide range of rotorcraft for a variety of public service, charter, movie and construction missions.
“Cost per pound is king,” Brainerd said. “I have wanted more capability for several years, and FastFin represents a step change in useful load.” All four FastFin Systems are flying and proving their worth, Brainerd said. “We’re lifting more, and our pilots are reporting improved stability and reduced workload. This is a product with a good cost/benefit ratio.”
An H125 with the FastFin System installed will be on display in the static display area (No. 10) and company experts will be on hand to discuss the system’s benefits in detail.
“BLR Aerospace is excited to have Brainerd Aviation as our lead-the-fleet customer,” said company President Mike Carpenter. “Their use of the system will clearly demonstrate to operators worldwide the dramatic improvements that H125 operators can expect.” Among benefits he cited are a useful load increase up to 130 pounds and a 10 percent improvement in pedal margins.
FastFin was certified in late 2016 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for installation on Airbus H125 helicopters and more recently received approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The system is now available to the aftermarket and as a factory-installed STC option on new Airbus H125 helicopters.
In addition to increases in useful load, FastFin System benefits include reductions in pilot workload, easier control in precision hover-hold operations and better management of the yaw axis when hovering in challenging crosswinds.
Though they are based on the same aerodynamic principles, the H125 FastFin differs from BLR’s flagship product for Bell medium helicopters. It does not modify the vertical fin, but is comprised of an Advanced Tailboom Aerodynamic Cowling (ATAC)™, a Tailboom Strake and Vortex Generators.
More than 1,000 of BLR’s performance-enhancing FastFin Systems have been installed on various light and medium helicopters worldwide.