Hanga Talk

BLR Aerospace Now Accepting Pre-Certification Orders for New H125 FastFin System

BLR Aerospace recently announced that it is now accepting pre- certification orders to secure production slots for its FastFin® rotor enhancement and stability system for the H125 helicopter.


BLR is on track for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification of the H125 FastFin System in the third quarter of this year, according to company president Mike Carpenter. Approvals from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Transport Canada, and Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) are expected to follow by year end.

Once certified, the system will be available to the aftermarket and as a factory-installed supplemental type certificate option on new Airbus H125 helicopters.

FastFin uses advanced airflow management to increase the effectiveness of the H125 anti-torque system, and an extensive flight test program has established baseline performance expectations. For example, with as much as a 10 percent increase in available right pedal, aircraft useful load may be increased

up to 140 pounds in OGE hover for most temperature/altitude combinations. In hot and high operations, FastFin has been shown to provide an increase IGE hover useful load of as much as 85 pounds. Additional benefits include a reduction 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 mediums because it does not modify the vertical fin but is comprised of an advanced tailboom aerodynamic cowling (ATAC), a tailboom strake, and vortex generators.

One-thousand of BLR’s performance-enhancing FastFin systems have been installed on various light and medium helicopters worldwide.

“BLR is pleased to bring this beneficial technology to the H125 operating community and to Airbus Helicopters,” Carpenter said. “Initial interest is strong and we encourage operators to secure their production positions now, as initial production quantities are limited.”

LORD Corporation Announces Product Qualification for the CH-47 Chinook Improved Vibration Control System

LORD Corporation recently announced product qualification for its Improved Vibration Control System (IVCS) for the Boeing H-47 Chinook helicopter.

Under contract with Boeing since September 2013, LORD has completed all program milestones and has received final qualification approval for the state-of-the-art patented system that controls steady state and transient vibration.

According to Stuart Hartwell, business development manager for LORD Global Aerospace & Defense, this qualification milestone for the twin-engine tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter represents a major step in bringing significant weight savings to the H-47 platform.

The multiyear qualification effort culminated in late 2015 with installation and final flight evaluation of the production-ready IVCS. IVCS is the H-47 program name for LORD Corporation’s proven active vibration control system. The U.S. Army Aviation Engineering Directorate recently completed the final qualification approval, and product deliveries for incorporation into the Boeing CH-47F production line will begin in mid-2016.

The IVCS technology uses accelerometers that measure aircraft vibration levels. A centralized computer processes these signals through a software algorithm that interprets the data and sends commands to force generators located under the pilot seats. These force generators create “anti-vibration” that stops the progression of vibration due to the main rotor, and creates a more comfortable vibration environment for the aircrew. The LORD

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product is a direct/drop-in replacement for the previously used passive tuned vibration absorber. According to Mike Janowski, manager of electromechanical design at LORD, the IVCS is easily installed using existing mounts on the Chinook aircraft and outperforms the legacy system.

According to LORD Corporation’s Jim Nietupski, customer executive, the pursuit of this initiative from LORD began in 2004 with the idea of replacing heavy passive tuned vibration absorbers under the pilot’s seat with a new technology that would save weight. After a flight demonstration of the product, which began in 2008 with the Mississippi Army National Guard, and after several years of continued testing with the assistance of the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Regiment, the Army decided to pursue a program and selected Boeing to serve as the integrator of this technology.

Throughout its development, the Chinook aircraft has evolved with new technology, gained new capability, and has increased in weight. This IVCS technology offers a triple-digit weight savings benefit, which creates a performance buy-back for H-47 operators. LORD Corporation’s system will now be part of the baseline configuration moving forward in 2016, followed by opportunities for retrofit of special operation’s MH-47G, fielded CH-47Fs, and foreign military sales’ H-47 aircraft.

“This IVCS equipment provides state-of-the-art performance and represents a major upgrade to the legacy vibration suppression system on this aircraft,” said Hartwell. “As a leader in active vibration control technology, LORD is expanding its business footprint at a critical time in the aviation industry.”

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