Dart Aerospace has received STC approvals from the FAA and European regulator EASA on its new EC/H130 emergency flotation system (EFS).
Dart received certification from Canada’s TCCA for the same kit in late 2018, meaning the EFS can now be used across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and any other regions accepting these three certifications without validation. The flotation system is designed for rotorcraft engaged in tourism, VIP transport and utility missions.
Improvements over Dart’s previous EFS kit include compatibility with manufacturer-fixed provisions and the addition of quick release fittings, which allow for the removal of 70 percent of the kit’s weight in less than five minutes without any tools, according to the company.
“This project provided a unique opportunity to revisit our previous design and really examine how we could incorporate the latest technology in float systems to add value for our H130 customers,” said Pablo Bravo, director of engineering at Dart’s facility in San Diego, California. “We looked at ways of simplify the design to make it easier for customers to install and remove the system, which was critical feedback from existing operators who prefer to reconfigure their aircraft for different missions quickly and efficiently. Specifically, we included quick release hoses that facilitate removal of the floats within just a few minutes — for excellent mission flexibility.”
The new EFS is approved for the latest gross weight of the Airbus H130 and features a squib-free electro-mechanical valve made of corrosion-resistant steel. The systems can be purchased with or without Dart’s integrated six-passenger life raft.
“We truly feel that having an external life raft option available for the H130 puts operators in a win-win situation in which safety and operational flexibility is increased, and weight is decreased,” added David Marcus, program manager for Dart Aerospace.