Rotor blade manufacturer Van Horn Aviation (VHA) has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type inspection authorization (TIA) on its updated composite main rotor blades for the Bell 206B JetRanger helicopter.
The last major hurdle prior to receiving a supplemental type certificate (STC), the TIA signifies that the design meets type design requirements and permits FAA pilots to perform final flight tests prior to certification. The FAA completed its flight tests of VHA’s 206B version two main rotor blades on July 21 in Torrance, California.
“The main differences between our initial 206B main rotor blades and the version two blades are the ply counts and orientation of the carbon fiber skin and spar plies,” said VHA chief executive James Van Horn. “We used experience gained from our 206L LongRanger main rotor blades to redesign the JetRanger blades. With the changes in plies and mass distribution, our 206B version two main rotor blades will provide a ride nearly identical to our 206L blades.”
The VHA 206B version two main rotor blades feature corrosion resistant carbon fiber skin and spars, an efficient NASA-designed laminar-flow airfoil, tapered tip, and stainless steel/nickel abrasion strips along the entire length of the leading edge. Service life of the 206B version two main rotor blade will be 10,000 hours with no overhauls required.
Priced at $60,000 per blade, the VHA 206B version two main rotor blades will be available directly from Van Horn Aviation and through its distributor network. Since a limited number of the version two blades will be available directly after the FAA STC/PMA authorization is acquired, interested operators are encouraged to contact VHA or their local distributor to secure a delivery position with a 20 percent deposit.