Caboolture’s Airwork Helicopters has recently obtained a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) and Australian Parts Manufacturing Approval (APMA) from CASA to manufacture a new composite tail rotor blade for the Bell 206 series of helicopters.
Following four years of development and certification, Airwork Helicopters has commenced production of the Kevlar and carbon fibre blades which founder and chief executive Myles Tomkins says will offer a 30 per cent cost advantage and double the life over standard 206 tail rotor blades.
“The blades offer a higher margin of safety due to their increased strength and higher thrust for an equivalent power setting as well as a very substantial noise reduction which will be very popular for helicopter operators that fly in and around noise sensitive environments,” said Tomkins.
“Our tail rotor blades are approved for Bell 206 A and B models and will shortly be approved for use on the LongRanger.”
Tomkins acknowledged the efforts of CASA, the Queensland Government, Auto Avia Design’s engineering expertise along with thousands of hours of dedication and hard work by his team.
“Obtaining the STC and the APMA is the first step in our long term growth strategy to develop a world class facility in advanced composites manufacturing at Caboolture Airport,” said Tomkins.
“We are now actively evaluating additional production opportunities for both helicopter and fixed wing aircraft composites structures and components.”
Tomkins said the company was in negotiations with a US parts distributor who will take on the global marketing, sales and distribution to pitch the blades to over 6,000 Bell 206 series operators.