BAN's World GazetteerSwitzerland
Swiss operator Air Zermatt is to become the European launch customer for a retrofittable crash-resistant fuel tank (CRFT) on the Airbus Helicopters AS350 and EC130 series. Developed by StandardAero and Robertson Fuel Systems, the CRFT has been installed on aircraft that are scheduled to arrive with Air Zermatt by the spring of this year. The STC for the tank was approved by the FAA in December 2017 and by EASA last summer. More than 108 CRFTs have already been delivered in the mainland US, Hawaii, Alaska, Guatemala and Australia.
“Due to the critical missions our helicopters perform, safety, availability and reliability all go hand in hand,” says Air Zermatt technical director René Lauber. “When choosing the best fuel tank retrofit option for our needs, it was imperative that we selected a solution that would result in minimal impact to our operations, which the StandardAero tank was able to provide.”
The CRFT serves as the cornerstone of StandardAero's Safecraft portfolio, a collection of safety equipment solutions which includes ADS-B In/Out options and an advanced autopilot system.
“It's no surprise that our CRFT has seen such great success in its first year,” states StandardAero president of components, helicopters and accessories Rick Stine. “The industry has a strong demand for improved safety solutions for legacy helicopters like the AS350, and with products like those that comprise our Safecraft portfolio, our team of aftermarket experts are leading the development of mission critical safety solutions to face those demands head-on.”
The CRFT was derived from Robertson Fuel Systems' military fuel restraint technologies and adapted to meet the needs of civilian operators. It is, StandardAero says, the only retrofittable solution for the AS350 helicopter platform that has been successfully tested and certified with an external cargo swing installed, and that is fully compliant with the latest FAR Part 27.952 fuel system crashworthiness requirements.