British Columbia, Canada-based operator Alpine Helicopters is to benefit from a KAflex drive shaft STC for Bell 212/412/SP helicopters, developed by Kamatics Corporation of Bloomfield, Connecticut.
Designed in close coordination with Bell to achieve low operating costs, the drive shaft has no moving parts, requires no maintenance and can be rebuilt after 5,000 hours of operation. Daily pre-flight visual inspections and a 2,500 hour out-of-aircraft inspection are the only service requirements. The KAflex design currently operates on many other helicopter models around the world and has a built-in ‘fail-safe’ feature.
Kaman and its businesses have a longstanding relationship with Bell and support a number of Bell platforms. This aftermarket replacement kit was driven by market demand, and the teams at each company have worked collaboratively over the past 18 months towards meeting FAA requirements for the STC, including an installation conformity inspection and ground run test with Alpine.
“As the first operator to receive the new KAflex drive shaft for our 212HP helicopters, we were very pleased with the installation's outcome. We anticipate considerable reductions in operational costs, and the safety and reliability improvements are an added value,” states Scott Hayward, director of maintenance, Alpine Helicopters.
Bell's director of customer solutions Van Wilson adds: “I expect the Kamatics 212/412 drive shaft STC to be well received by our customers due to its significant operating cost improvement. Bell engineering collaborated with Kamatics on this project, and we worked very well together. Bell is always looking for ways to bring more value to our customers, and this collaboration with Kamatics is another example.”