The City of San Diego Fire-Rescue Air Operations Department is the launch customer for California-based Aerometals new generation engine inlet barrier filter (EIBF), now installed in a S-70i Sikorsky. The aircraft will provide a critical role of fire suppression and support of ground firefighting crews for San Diego and surrounding areas.
Battalion chief Chuck Macfarland comments: “When we decided to lead the fleet, I expected a good product from Aerometals. Now that I have had the opportunity to fly with the barrier filter installed, it has exceeded my expectations and put to rest any concern about power available.”
The EIBF has been designed, manufactured, flight tested and delivered by Aerometals. Utilising complex computer airflow modelling and three-dimensional CAD technology, it is designed both for the Sikorsky S70i and Blackhawk UH-60 utility helicopters.
Attributes of the new design over legacy systems include a significant weight savings of almost 50 pounds, no airspeed correlation charts, no impact to ram air cooling of engines, no increase in fuel burn due to parasitic drag and minimal impact to aircraft performance. In additional to protecting engines from FOD damage and filtering particulates and salt nuclei, the EIBF also guards against thermal impact spikes that can lead to premature hot section fatigue of fire-fighting aircraft.
Veteran Blackhawk test pilot Kevin Bredenbeck evaluated the filter system and adds: “It isn't often I'm impressed, but after reviewing the technical data and performing flight profiles, my opinion has solidified that the Aerometals barrier filter should be standard equipment on all Blackhawk aircraft.”
Aerometals is an aerospace design, engineering and manufacturing company located in the northern California town of El Dorado Hills, approximately 35 miles northeast of Sacramento. Providing a wide range of aerospace parts and assemblies over the past 35 years, it serves both the military and commercial aerospace markets. Aerometals offerings vary from simple replacement components to flight critical systems such as turbine engine inlet barrier filter systems.