HAI Convention News

GKN Flotation System Saves Weight, Volume

 - February 25, 2008, 10:56 AM

GKN Aerospace (Booth No. 4123) has a better idea, and it floats. The UK-based company has created a new helicopter emergency flotation system that it says offers a 50-percent saving in volume and a 25-percent weight reduction. It is an adaptation of technology applied in European Space Agency programs and uses cool gas generator (CGG) technology. The usual large gas pressure vessels have been replaced by small, lightweight and rugged CGG units. Each stores gas in an uncompressed solid that can quickly produce large quantities of gas through a controlled reaction at ambient temperatures. The CGG units have a maintenance-free storage life of 15 years. According to GKN site director John Pritchard, “We believe this new direct-inflation, CGG-based system has huge potential for the helicopter operator.”