Piney Flats, Tennessee - An emergency float system for helicopters which uses urethane-coated fabric, has gained approval from the US Federal Aviation Authority, according to Dart Helicopter Services.
Dart, based in Piney Flats, is a partner of the float developer, Apical Industries, which it describes as "a world-class leader in emergency flotation and evacuation equipment."
Apical has received the FAA approval for its Emergency Float System for Robinson model R44, R44 II helicopters.
Dart said that the Emergency Float System is lightweight and easy to install for R44 Raven operators. These can routinely or occasionally fly over water, and hence, "want the added security of having emergency floats installed," the company added.
Apical's system is also suitable for use on R44 Clipper helicopters, Dart added. In addition to increased personal safety during an emergency water landing, the floats will allow the aircraft to be towed to safety after such a landing.
The system consists of two cylindrical forward floats and two cylindrical aft floats (see pic). These can be mounted on float or standard skidtubes, and have a mechanically activated inflation system, which includes a composite-wrapped reservoir, the company added. The floats are made from a lightweight urethane-coated nylon fabric and fitted with inlet check valves and combined manual topping/pressure relief valves.
Sales and marketing company Dart Helicopter Services offers a sales network for aerospace manufacturers who need such a global marketing and sales channel. epw
PIC: Fore and aft floats from Apical aid emergency water landings."