Heli Austria is the first European operator to use BLR’s FastFin Tail Rotor Enhancement and Stability System for the Bell 412. FastFin recently was certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for installation and flight on Bell 412 helicopters.
BLR’s flagship FastFin System enables performance improvements in useful load, wind azimuth tolerance and hover stability for Bell medium helicopters.
Heli Austria has been flying its enhanced Bell 412 for two months, and “the overall control and increased safety margins are excellent,” said Roy Knaus, owner of Heli Austria. “It’s a real efficient system that is especially beneficial for us at high altitudes.” Knaus also was the first operator in Europe to buy, install and operate FastFin for the Bell 204 and Bell 212.
Heli Austria’s Bell mediums routinely operate between 7,000 and 10,000 feet but sometimes reach altitudes of 13,000 feet performing a range of vertical reference work, including logging and construction. Heli Austria operates a fleet of 12 helicopters.
“Heli Austria operates in the highly competitive European utility helicopter market segment and was an early adopter of the BLR technology. Having installed their first BLR system in 2003, Heli Austria knows that the FastFin System can make the difference between profit and loss,” said Dave Marone, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for BLR Aerospace.
In 2010, Bell Helicopter made FastFin standard equipment on new Bell 412EPs, and today, more than 550 FastFin systems are operating worldwide, supporting diverse missions ranging from airborne law enforcement to offshore oil transport.
The system includes two parallel stall strips, known as Dual Tailboom Strakes, on the tailboom and a reshaped vertical fin. FastFin optimizes air-flow around the tailboom, dramatically improving tail rotor efficiency and wind azimuth tolerance. FastFin also reduces operating costs and reduces cycle fatigue in structures and demands on tail rotor rotating components.
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