|Left to right, Danny Maldonado, senior vice president of customer support and chief services officer for Bell Helicopter, Jennifer Lunceford, sales and marketing manager for Aeronautical Accessories, and Van Horn Aviation President James R. Van Horn.|
Bell Helicopter has inked a distribution agreement with Tempe, Ariz.-based Van Horn Aviation involving a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the 206 composite tail rotor blade. The company is also nearing flight tests of composite rotor blades for the MD Helicopters 530F. The Bell STC allows installation on the Bell 206B and L variants. The blades are available through Aeronautical Associates, a Bell subsidiary in Piney Flats, Tenn. Bell’s Engineering division worked with Van Horn to review the STC from various standpoints, including design, manufacture and certification. R. Danny Maldonado, senior vice president and chief services officer for Bell, notes that the STC meets the OEM’s “rigorous engineering standards.”
According to Van Horn, airborne tests of the MD530F blades were scheduled to start in March, with an STC expected in the fourth quarter of 2011. The company also intends to pursue STCs on the MD520N and MD500D/E variants.