Airwolf Aerospace of Middlefield, Ohio (Booth No.10243) announced it has received FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for its recently PMA-approved Torsion-Tension-(TT) Straps for Bell 206 JetRanger, 206L LongRanger and OH 58 helicopters, as well as STCs from the European Aviation Safety Association (EASA), Brazil’s Agencia Nacional de Aviacao Civil (ANAC) and Transport Canada.
These STCs will allow installation of the straps in regions of the world that do not otherwise permit use of PMA parts for flight critical components.
TT Straps anchor helicopter blades to the mast. Until now, only Bell OEM TT Straps were available for these models. The Airwolf TT Straps cost “about $1,000 less for a pair than the OEM’s TT Straps, which cost about $4,500,” said John Montana, Airwolf’s senior engineer. “Our whole mantra is to lower direct operating costs.”
The Airwolf TT Straps have the same 1,200-hour or 24-calendar-month life as the OEM straps, but Montana said Airwolf hopes to receive approval to increase the calendar life. Montana estimates about 3,000 of these model Bells are in operation.
“We’re the new guys in town,” Montana said. “Bell is all of a sudden talking about life extensions [for the straps]. But nothing you’re hearing from the manufacturers would have occurred without us. We’re helicopter operators ourselves, and we really want to lower operating costs.”
Brett Avants, Bell Helicopter communications leader, customer support & services, said, “Bell Helicopters is always developing new ways to help improve direct operating costs of customers, while also keeping safety at the forefront. We’ll be making a couple of announcements regarding that very issue during the [Heli-Expo] show.”