Langley, BC – Vector Aerospace Corporation, a global independent provider of aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, and its partner Robertson Fuel Systems (RFS), a HEICO Company, announce that their Crash-Resistant Fuel Tank (CRFT) for the Airbus AS350 light single helicopter family has successfully completed its first flight.
This second major milestone toward Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification of the retrofittable CRFT comes shortly after the successful completion of an FAA-certified 50-foot drop test that demonstrated the tank’s ability to withstand impact without any leakage, thereby helping to prevent post-crash fires. The new CRFT has since been installed on two flight test aircraft, an AS350 B2 and an AS350 B3, with both undergoing extensive ground-testing as the program progresses steadily forward.
Commenting on July 21st, the day of the first flight, test pilot Ted Bell said: “Today was a very exciting day for us. Everything went according to schedule and to plan,pilots and passengers will appreciate the additional level of safety this system provides.”
Jeff Booker, CRFT Program Manager at Vector, added: “This milestone is a testament to the team here at Vector, which has been working hard to bring this product to market for our customers. As soon as the drop testing was complete we began the process of installation to move us into this new test phase. It’s a great feeling to see this tank flying.”
Company flight testing will continue on both aircraft over the next few weeks, as Vector and RFS work towards a late 2017 FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) target date.
The CRFT is being developed by RFS and Vector as a direct replacement for all AS350 models, including the H125 (AS350 B3e), as well as for the EC130 B4. The unique design features a robust crash-resistant fuel bladder, and uses several innovations including a magneto-resistive fuel quality transmitter to keep the tank from being compromised in the event of an accident. Vector is also working closely with Onboard Systems to incorporate their industry proven cargo swing solutions as a compatible option which can be used with the new crash-resistant fuel tank. The AS350 CRFT can be ordered from either RFS or Vector.
About Vector Aerospace
Vector Aerospace is a global provider of aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services. Through facilities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, South Africa, Kenya and Singapore, Vector Aerospace provides services to commercial and military customers for gas turbine engines, components and helicopter airframes. Vector’s customer-focused team includes over 2,200 motivated employees.
Vector Aerospace holds approvals from some of the world's leading turbine engine, airframe and avionics OEMs. Powerplants supported include a wide range of turboshafts, turboprops and turbofans from General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rolls-Royce and Safran. Vector Aerospace also provides support for a wide range of airframes from Airbus Helicopters, Bell, Boeing, Leonardo Helicopters and Sikorsky, its capabilities including major inspections and dynamic component overhaul, and offers full-service avionics capability, including aircraft rewiring, mission equipment installation and glass cockpit upgrades.
About Robertson Fuel Systems
Robertson Fuel Systems, a HEICO Company based in Tempe, Arizona, designs, develops, produces and sustains primary and auxiliary fuel systems for military and civil applications. HEICO Corporation is a New York Stock Exchange listed company (NYSE: HEI and HEI.A). The company’s technology-driven and electronics products have been used for aerospace, industrial, and defense industries for more than 60 years.
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Vice President of Business Development for Airframe and Avionics Solutions
Phone: +1 (604) 514-7359
Robert (Chip) Lunn
VP, Programs and Marketing
Robertson Fuel Systems
Phone: +1 (480) 337-8801