The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau and EASA have approved applications of BLR Aerospace’s FastFin system. The Japanese agency approved installation of the FastFin on the Bell 412EP, and EASA on the Bell 205. The FastFin upgrade is also EASA approved on the Bell 212. An EASA certification program is under way for the Bell 412, according to BLR (Booth No. N3724).
The FastFin tail-rotor enhancement and stability system is standard on new Bell 412EPs and allows operators to carry up to 91 percent (1,250 pounds) greater useful load. By optimizing airflow around the tailboom, FastFin helps improve tail-rotor authority and wind-azimuth tolerance, as well as lowering operating costs, cycle fatigue and demands on rotating tail-rotor components. The upgrade includes two parallel tailboom strakes and a reshaped vertical fin.
The Nagano Firefighting, Disaster, Relief and Rescue service is the launch customer for the 412EP FastFin system in Japan. Missions include firefighting in Nagano prefecture and rescue missions in the Japan Alps at elevations of up to 10,000 feet.
In Europe, Agrarflug Helilift has been flying BLR upgrades for more than eight years and plans to install the FastFin upgrade on its Bell 212 fleet. “We fully expect FastFin to enhance safety and reduce pilot workload while providing better hot-and-high performance,” said Agrarflug Helilift technical manager Hans Kraskes.
According to BLR, nearly 500 FastFin systems are flying worldwide.