National Parks & Wildlife (NPWS), an Australian government department charged with the responsibility of managing over seven million hectares of protected national parks across the state of New South Wales, has tasked Eagle Australasia, a provider of helicopter sales and leasing, MRO and customisation solutions based in Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, to fit its latest modification – the first BLR FastFin System fitout – on an Airbus H125 helicopter. The NPWS operates a fleet of helicopters for tasks such as plant and animal survey, research and fire management.
BLR's FastFin System uses advanced airflow technology to increase the effectiveness of the H125's anti-torque system by virtue of an Advanced Tailboom Aerodynamic (ATAC), a tailboom strake and vortex generators. The differences brought about by the modification are obvious in-flight, where the improved stability in hover and increased payload come to the fore.
Less pedal input is required by the pilot to keep the aircraft stable and in-line, giving greater control, improved safety and reduced pilot fatigue. The up-to 18 per cent increase in useful load completes the return on investment gained by operators using the FastFin System.
Keith Ray, director of commercial helicopter sales at BLR, was pleased with the results: “Eagle Australasia did a fantastic job with the first H125 install and BLR appreciates its efforts. As always, Eagle's commercial and technical support of BLR's rotor wing performance products is world class. With the H125 Performance Increase Program (first announced at HAI-2019) becoming available soon, BLR is looking forward to supporting Eagle Australasia with this game changing enhancement to the H125.”
These enhancements will be a great asset to the NPWS, which made international headlines earlier this year as it battled what many experts consider to be the worst bushfires ever seen in NSW, many of which raged across the national parklands entrusted to its care. When tasked with such an important responsibility, the organisation has sought to maximise the efficiency of its equipment.
As BLR's exclusive rotor wing dealer across the Asia Pacific, Eagle Australasia is equipped to fit a range of Airbus and Bell model helicopters with BLR's FastFin System at both its Coffs Harbour and Redcliffe facilities. Eagle's director of sales and support Craig Swayne explains: “Eagle Australasia is excited to be the exclusive BLR representative in the Asia Pacific region. We have been involved in several Bell medium upgrades to date, however this install for the NPWS was our first Airbus H125 upgrade. We were extremely impressed with the kit and the installation support provided by BLR. We look forward to continued relations with the BLR team and bringing additional kits to the Asia Pacific.”
Eagle has also achieved CASR Part 145 approval from the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). The company is now certificated to perform maintenance under CASR Part 145 on a wide variety of helicopter manufacturers such as Bell, Leonardo, Airbus and Robinson. It retains its CAR 30 approval and will offer customers maintenance, repairs, modifications, component overhaul and other services under both maintenance approvals.