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As more IBFs become available, some misconception about IBFs remain in the helicopter community. So much of the work of IBF manufacturers is raising awareness about the benefits IBFs provide. Indeed, IBFs help improve operational performance and achieve cost efficiencies. “IBFs can eliminate the chance of an FOD event, which could cause serious damage and cause an aircraft to go off contract. With IBFs you can also reduce the chances of taking the aircraft out of service for unscheduled maintenance due to an engine not making power, which in turn reduces maintenance man-hours that will be spent working on the engine,” Bohm says. “The main idea is to keep the helicopter flying as much as possible. An operator may have a power-by-the-hour maintenance plan in which they do not worry about who is paying for an engine swap, because it is built into their maintenance plan, but that is not going to cover the cost of being off a contract for an unspecified period of time.”


“IBFs are passive filtration elements that capture 98-99 percent of contaminants,” Newman says. “By eliminating the ingestion of contaminants, the engines can reach time between overhauls (TBO) even in austere environments. Once returned to the overhaul shop, costs are greatly reduced due to less engine erosion/wear and the ability to reuse parts.”


The case of an offshore operator in Brazil highlights the benefits of an IBF. “They were operating the S76 C+ (without IBF) and the S76C++ (with IBF) side by side. After time went by, they realized that their direct operating costs on their engines were much less on the C++ than on the unprotected C+,” Holland says. “So the operator asked the engine OEM what caused this, and the OEM did a study and issued a comparative report that showed the difference between near-identical aircraft operating the same engines with and without IBF protection. This report showed the positive effects of operating IBF protection on the S76C++ in an environment where people typically think they do not need one.”


76 Sept/Oct 2018


Dust and dirt from landing in unimproved LZs can be virtually eliminated with an IBF, thereby preventing premature erosion damage.


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