Van Horn trumpeting composite blades

 - February 23, 2008, 8:26 AM

Van Horn Aviation (VHA) is showing a prototype of its new composite tail-rotor blade for Bell 206-series helicopters at its Heli-Expo’08 booth (No. 3307).

VHA modeled the 206 tail-rotor blade after its FAA-approved Bell UH-1H tail-rotor blade and incorporated a new high-efficiency airfoil, carbon-fiber skin and titanium root fitting and abrasion strip. The improved blade for the 206 should allow a life-limit of 3,000 hours, according to VHA, which is 500 hours more than the original blade from Bell. VHA’s tail-rotor blades are now FAA-approved for seven UH-1H models and have a 2,400-hour life-limit, double the original blade’s life.

VHA, based in Tempe, Ariz., is also highlighting a codevelopment agreement with Helicopter Technology for design, testing, certification and manufacture of an FAA-approved UH-1H main rotor blade. The metal main-rotor blade features new materials in the spar and root to increase static strength. VHA will perform engineering, testing and certification work while Helicopter Technology will manufacture the blades. VHA has developed FAA-approved main-rotor blades before, for Bell’s 206 series, but those are not currently available due to a Bell lawsuit against the company, according to VHA.

VHA added Dakota Air Parts International, here at Booth No. 2031, as its newest distributor for UH-1B/F/H composite tail-rotor blades.