FAA certifies increased hover performance for Bell UH-1 FastFin

FAA certifies increased hover performance for Bell UH-1 FastFin

27-May-2010 Source: BLR Aerospace

Everett, Wash., May 27, 2010 — The Federal Aviation Administration has certified increased hover performance for UH-1H helicopters equipped with the FastFin™ Tail Rotor Enhancement and Stability System and Lycoming T53-13B engines.

FAA certified data shows that operators who install FastFin on their UH-1 helicopters (with Lycoming T53-13B engines) may increase their useful load by 57 percent at 10,000 feet and 11 percent at sea level. They will also realize significant safety, stability and wind azimuth benefits.

“This is a great solution for UH-1 operators who often face challenges with anti-torque control above 4,000 feet density altitude,” said Dave Marone, vice president of sales and marketing for BLR Aerospace. “FastFin is a mission-critical enhancement that will improve their operations in an immediate and measurable way.”
FastFin’s benefits are dramatic for those who fly UH-1s in high-density altitude conditions. At 14,000 feet, for example, an operator could increase useful load by 780 pounds.  Sea-level operators, on a 30 degree Celsius day, see a useful load increase of 500 pounds.

Installation of the FastFin™  Tail Rotor Enhancement and Stability System involves modifying a helicopter tailboom with two parallel strips (known as Dual Tailboom Strakes), and reshaping the vertical fin to optimize airflow around the tailboom.  These changes improve safety, useful load, stability, and wind azimuth tolerance to operators who fly the modified aircraft.

FastFin is available for Bell 204, 205, 212, Huey II, and most UH-1 derivatives as an aftermarket upgrade, and additional certifications are under way.

“No matter the mission, today’s operators are looking for every competitive advantage,” Marone said. “FastFin provides significant blocks of operating altitude that were previously out of reach for the UH-1. This technology helps operators achieve maximum return on their capital investments.”

FastFin systems are in operation worldwide. In 2009, the U.S. State Department installed FastFin systems on 10 Bell HUEY-II helicopters operating in Afghanistan and subsequently placed a follow-on order for 20 additional systems.

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