Leadership and growth have defined Aerospace Filtration Systems, Inc. (now part of Donaldson Aerospace and Defense Group) since the company’s founding in 1999, and they continue to do so ten years later.
The growth has been steady, often explosive, and today Donaldson is recognized as the industry leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance Inlet Barrier Filtration (IBF) Systems for commercial and military rotorcraft. Products include both main engine and Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) protection.
“We’re proud of what our team has accomplished and how our technology has contributed to the rotorcraft industry,” commented Mike Scimone, President of AFS. “It has been a very productive and rewarding decade. Since we are now a part of the Donaldson Aerospace & Defense group, we anticipate continued growth and new technology integration opportunities.”
Since 1999, Donaldson has designed and commercially certified or military qualified 19 new IBF products and has delivered more than 4,000 IBF kits. The past year has seen the introduction of even more new products, with certification of IBF Systems for the Bell 429 and 430, and AgustaWestland AW139. The company has grown along with the operators’ appetite for products that extend the lifespan of their equipment and deliver true Return On Investment (ROI).
Barrier filter technology applied to light helicopter turbine engine inlets provides a substantial ROI for operators along with needed performance improvements. This is evident with the new Bell 429 where an IBF is standard, so ROI starts direct from the factory. In most cases turbine engine components are life limited parts, but seldom reach their design limit life. With IBFs installed, even the most expensive rotating components can survive past their routine life and reach limit life. A good example is a compressor impeller with a 20,000-hour design limit life that is routinely replaced at every 2,000-hour overhaul due to erosion damage. With a barrier filter installed this component can now survive multiple overhauls and be utilized up to its maximum 20,000 limit life without erosion damage. In many cases the ROI for a barrier filter system is easily attained within one engine overhaul cycle even in a relatively clean environment.
Overhaul and replacement cost reduction for other bleed air driven components can also be significant with continued use of clean filtered air. As the operating environment becomes more austere, the savings to the operator are multiplied and barrier filters in many cases are a necessity.
Other benefits along with reduced operating and overhaul costs are reduced engine operating temperatures for increased engine life and performance. All of these factors contribute to reduced operating costs and realized ROI.
Donaldson customers have proven the value of IBF systems in the harshest environments in the world, including tough desert combat operations. Military rotorcraft main engines and APUs are commonly protected by Donaldson IBF filters, including OH-58A/C/D Kiowa, ARH-70, UH-1H Huey, AH/MH-6J/M Little Bird, UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache, and CH-47 Chinook helicopters. Certified commercial rotorcraft kits include the Bell 205, 206B, 206L-1/3/4, 407, and 429, MD Helicopters MD 500 and MD 900/902, Eurocopter AS350, EC-130, and AgustaWestland A119 and AW139.
Development systems scheduled for introduction in 2010 include the AgustaWestland AW109 Grand/Power, Eurocopter EC135, and Bell 206L.
As a wholly owned subsidiary of Donaldson, AFS maintains its business operations in St. Louis. Company products are available directly or through its dedicated distributors.
For more information, contact: Donaldson Aerospace and Defense,
Sales and Marketing, 636-300-5200, firstname.lastname@example.org,