FDC/aerofilter has obtained FAA approval for unrestricted flight in falling and blowing snow conditions for its engine inlet barrier filter (IBF) systems for the Eurocopter AS 350B/BA/B2/B3/B4 and EC 130B4.
Flight tests conducted last winter showed operational capability in the types of snow required by the FAA and Transport Canada. Previous snow tests on other aircraft, conducted in natural conditions and in the wind tunnel, provided the basis for removing the restriction without the aid of diverters or baffles.
The AS 350 IBF kit has flown in falling and blowing snow but carried the standard aircraft flight manual restriction limiting flight to 10 minutes in visibility of less than about a mile. Previously the only option for unrestricted flight in snow was to install the factory snow kit, a particle separator panel with no bleed-air-driven ejectors or a particle separator, neither of which offers the filter efficiency of an inlet barrier filter.
According to the company, pure air dramatically cuts operating costs. The Aerofilter eliminates FOD and engine erosion, reducing engine maintenance, decreasing downtime and maintaining engine health. In a clean environment the filter can pay for itself in less than a year. In a harsh environment it may do so in one flight.
FDC/aerofilter offers certified engine barrier filters for the Bell 206B/OH-58, 206L1/3/4 and 407; Eurocopter AS 350B series D, EC 130 and EC 120; MD 500, 600 and OH-6; and the Sikorsky S-76A+/C.