Airbus is installing a crash-resistant fuel tank by Robertson Fuel Systems and StandardAero on H125 (AS350) helicopters
StandardAero and Robertson Fuel Systems have delivered two AS350/EC130 crash-resistant fuel systems (CRFS) to be installed on Airbus H125s flown by the Oklahoma City Police Department.
The city’s police department received budget approval in May 2018 to purchase crashworthy fuel systems and conducted a review of the available retrofit options, according to a press release by StandardAero and Robertson.
“As we were evaluating the options to upgrade our AStar helicopters with crashworthy fuel tanks, it was extremely important for us to select a solution that would be compatible with the existing equipment on the aircraft,” said Lieutenant Mike Jackson of the OKCPD.
“Due to the nature of our work, we have search lights, cameras and other mission equipment installed, including cargo hooks since we support firefighting operations in the area, so we needed to ensure we selected a product that exhibited proven durability to withstand an impact from not only external threats, but also potential threats such as these that are installed on the aircraft itself.”
Airbus is pursuing European and U.S. certification of its own CRFS for the H125, but as Rotor & Wing International reported earlier this year, that process has hit a snag, as a utility sling hook punctured the system during Airbus testing.
"An underbelly installation might obviously influence the crash resistance of the CRFS during a drop test, as it is located below the fuel system like in any other helicopter,” Airbus told R&WI in May. "We are currently looking at the necessary reinforcements, if any, that will allow our CRFS solution to pass the required drop test. Compliance with 27.952, including underbelly installation, is expected in early 2020."
StandardAero and Robertson Fuel Systems’ CRFS successfully passed a 50-foot drop test inside an airframe structure, including a cargo swing attachment, in March 2017.