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AS350/EC130 Crash-Resistant Fuel Tank (CRFT) Frequently Asked Questions


Q: 
Which aircraft variants are approved per the FAA STC?                                   
A: Airbus Helicopters AS350 D, AS350 B/B1/B2/BA/B3, AS350 B3e (H125), and EC130 B4.


Q: Why is the AS350 B3e (H125) not listed on the FAA STC?                                                                                                        
A: The AS350 B3e is considered a sub-model of the AS350 B3 on the Type Certificate. As such, the CRFT STC is FAA-approved for the AS350 B3e (H125) variant.


Q: Why is the H130 (EC130 T2) not listed on the FAA STC? 
A: The new H130 is delivered as standard with an energy absorbing fuel tank included in the baseline configuration of the helicopter.


Q: Which prerequisites are required for older aircraft to be compatible with the new crash-resistant fuel tank?
A: AS350 B2 non-VEMD equipped and earlier aircraft may require one or more of the following OEM upgrades (or equivalent) for CRFT STC installation:

  1. Airframe wiring and control provisions for the dual fuel boost pumps.
  2. Airframe wiring and indication provisions for the fuel boost pump failure indication system.
  3. Aircraft with analog fuel gauge indication, upgraded indicator per Service Bulletin 28.00.12.
  4. MOD 071671 (new filter unit with modified pre-clogging by-pass valve) with P/N 1268-000 differential pressure switch.


Q: Is the new tank compatible with aircraft that are equipped with aftermarket fuel filters?
A: Yes, configurations are compatible with both STC SR00379NY and SR01632NY.


Q: Are cargo swings compatible with the new tank?
A: Yes, both Airbus Helicopters and Onboard Systems cargo swings are compatible with the new tank.


Q: Is the tank compatible with "squirrel cheeks"?
A: Yes, for Dart SpacepodTM “squirrel cheeks.” Compatibility with Airbus Helicopters Canada cargo pod "squirrel cheeks" is to be determined.

Q: How long does installation of the new crash-resistant fuel tank take?     
A: 5,000 hrs brush replacement (vs original 2,400 hrs inspection interval on AS350 B2’s and prior)


Q: Is any electrical work required to interface with the new tank?
A: Yes, a minor change to shield OEM wiring and installation of a new connector is required.


Q: Is any structural work required to interface with the new tank?
Yes, basic modification to the fuel filler panel and installation of small brackets are required. No D-level or structural modifications are required, and the design uses existing OEM cradles.


Q: Are tank installation services available?

A: Yes, Vector Aerospace has a global network of certified Maintenance Organization facilities available. We can also dispatch highly skilled field service teams to install, assist, or train your team at your location.


Q: What is the refill rate on the new tank? 
A: 35 GPM (equivalent to the original tank) 


Q: What is the weight of new tank in comparison to the original OEM tank?
A: Single pump and Dual pump systems represent a 47.5 lb and 49.8 lb weight differential from the original tank, respectively, in addition to an 18 lb unusable fuel load. This modest increase in weight reflects the extensive safety modifications introduced.


Q: What is the fuel capacity of the new tank?
A: 146.8 U.S. Gal Total, 144.0 U.S. Gal Usable (slightly greater than the original tank, i.e. 142.7 U.S. Gal Total, 142.3 U.S. Gal Usable, post AMS 070289).


Q: Are any new Airworthiness Limitations associated with this STC?
A: No airworthiness limitations are associated with this type design change.


Q: Are any Flight Manual Limitations associated with this STC?
A: Some existing limitations have been modified, per the summary below:

  All Models: 
  If the fuel does not contain an anti-icing additive, the use of such an additive is mandatory when the OAT is below 0˚C. The   additive shall be MIL-I-27686, PFA55MB, MIL-DTL-85470B or equivalent. 
   
  AS350 B, BA, B1, D, B2: 
  Without aftermarket airframe fuel filter (SR000379NY), no operation below -30C; all other existing limitations apply. 
   
  Maximum altitude without aftermarket airframe fuel filter (SR01632NY): 
 

AS350 B3:
     Arriel 2B/2B1: ≤ 17,000 ft (5182 m)
     Arriel 2D: ≤ 18,000 ft (5486 m)

  EC130 B4:
     Arriel 2B1: ≤ 17,000 ft (5182 m) 
   
  Maximum altitude with aftermarket airframe fuel filter (SR01632NY): 
  AS350 B3:
     Arriel 2B/2B1: ≤ 17,000 ft (5182 m) 
  EC130 B4:
     Arriel 2B1: Existing STC limitations apply 
   
  Maximum altitude with or without aftermarket airframe fuel filter (SR000379NY): 
  AS350 B, BA, B1, D, B2:
     Existing limitations apply 



Q: What type of fuel pump(s) are used in the new tank?
A: Cartridge type fuel pumps are used; one or two pumps, depending on aircraft model and serial number.


Q: What is the maintenance interval on the fuel pumps?
A: On condition (versus 2,400 hrs inspection interval on OEM AS350 B2s and prior).


Q: What is the approximate cost of the fuel pumps should they fail?
A: To be determined.


Q: Can the fuel pump(s) be replaced without defueling?             
A: Yes, pumps are easily accessed from below.


Q: How is the new tank calibrated?                          
A: The new tanks are calibrated at the factory and verified on installation.


Q: Is the sump drain easily accessible, yet protected to prevent accidental activation?
A: Yes, the sump drain has a remote button in the OEM location and is  protected to prevent accidental activation during service or incident.


Q: Is the new tank’s bladder approved to meet FAA Technical Standard Order TSO C80 ("Flexible fuel and oil cell material") standards?
A: Yes, it is.


Q: When will the new tank be available?
A: The new tank is available now for countries observing the FAA STC approval.


Q: Will the new tank also be available as an EASA STC?             
A: Yes, EASA STC approval is anticipated 8-12 weeks following receipt of the FAA STC approval.


Q: Will the new tank be compatible with Honeywell LTS101-powered aircraft?                                                                   
A: Yes, for AS350 D OEM engines only. Compatibility with aftermarket LTS101 modifications (e.g. Heli-Lynx and Soloy) is to be determined.


Q: When will replacement parts for the new tank be available?         
A: Replacement parts will be readily available from late-2017 onward.


Q: Is there a warranty available for the new tank?         
A: Yes, a standard one-year warranty on materials and workmanship is available.


Back to AS350/EC130 Crash-Resistant Fuel Tank page

Q: Is there any electrical work required to interface the new CRFT?                                                                                                
A: Yes, connectors for fuel pump and sender units

AS350 B3:
     Arriel 2B/2B1: ≤ 17,000 ft (5182 m) 
     Arriel 2D: ≤ 18,000 ft (5486 m)