Rotor blade manufacturer Van Horn Aviation (VHA) of Tempe, Arizona (Booth No. 9651) is unveiling a prototype of its new Bell 412/212 tail-rotor blade here at Heli-Expo. Designed by VHA in collaboration with Bell Helicopter Textron, the new tail-rotor blade is predicted to increase tail-rotor authority while reducing pilot workload and eliminating inspections required by the current blade’s airworthiness directive (AD).
“We’re building on the success of the VHA 206B/L tail-rotor blade, using the same NASA-designed laminar flow airfoil and a similar swept tip for greater efficiency and reduced noise,” said VHA president James Van Horn. “We’ll also continue our tradition of doubling the service life compared to the OEM blade to offer the operators a great value in addition to greater performance.”
VHA also announced at Heli-Expo plans to resume flight-testing next month on its newly redesigned composite MD 530F main-rotor blades. The company anticipates receiving FAA certification for the blades by the end of this year. VHA recently moved into a larger, renovated facility to facilitate development and production of the MD 530F main blades.
“The new 23,000-square-foot facility is large enough to accommodate all of our current tail-rotor blade programs, plus current and future main-rotor blade programs,” Van Horn said.