Van Horn Aviation (VHA) recently received FAA type inspection authorisation on its updated composite main rotor blades for the Bell 206B JetRanger helicopter.
The last major hurdle prior to receiving STC, the TIA signifies that the design meets type design requirements and permits FAA pilots to perform final flight tests prior to certification. The FAA completed its flight tests of VHA's 206B Version 2 main rotor blades on 21 July in Torrance, California.
“The main differences between our initial 206B main rotor blades and the Version 2 blades are the ply counts and orientation of the carbon fibre skin and spar plies,” says VHA CEO James Van Horn. “We used experience gained from our 206L LongRanger main rotor blades to redesign the JetRanger blades. With the changes in plies and mass distribution, our 206B Version 2 main rotor blades will provide a ride nearly identical to our 206L blades.”
The VHA 206B Version 2 main rotor blades feature corrosion resistant carbon fibre skin and spars, an efficient NASA-designed laminar-flow airfoil, tapered tip and stainless steel/nickel abrasion strips along the entire length of the leading edge. The service life of the 206B Version 2 main rotor blade will be 10,000 hours with no overhauls required. They will be available directly from Van Horn Aviation and through its distributor network. Since a limited number of the Version 2 blades will be available directly after the FAA STC/PMA authorisation is acquired, interested operators are encouraged to contact VHA or their local distributor to secure a delivery position with a 20 per cent deposit.