Dart Helicopter Services of Piney Flats, Tenn., along with its affiliate DART Aerospace Ltd of Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada, have received FAA approval for its line of interior panels for the Eurocopter AS350 and AS355 model helicopters. Transport Canada and EASA approval have already been granted, clearing the way for sales on a more global scale.
The STC’d panels are designed to replace original panels installed in the overhead and aft bulkhead areas of the two Eurocopter models where cracking and sagging are common. Made of impact-resistant, aerospace-grade plastic, the new panels are built to minimize deformation and resist damage, and are molded in the same color as that used by the original manufacturer. Dart ships the overhead panels untrimmed, so they can be cut to fit any interior design scheme.
DART Aerospace’s general manager Bill Beckett said the company chose to build those particular panels based upon its own market research. Inquiries revealed that operators found the original panels to be the most problematic.