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StandardAero and Robertson Fuel Systems have announced the certification of their AS350/EC130 crash-resistant fuel tank (CRFT) by another international airworthiness authority, Transport Canada. This most recent approval represents the third regulatory agency to certify the solution, in addition to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Bolstered by Robertson’s extensive history in developing military standard fuel containment solutions, the StandardAero/Robertson CRFT provides the highest quality, safety-driven solution available to AS350/EC130 operators, featuring a durable composite material container that is strategically reinforced in the most susceptible areas to distribute impact loads in an accident.
The CRFT is fully compliant with stringent part 27.952 fuel system crash resistance requirements both with and without cargo swing/hook equipment installed. This achievement demonstrates the intentional design process which evaluated a number of real-life external threats to ultimately produce an exceptionally robust fuel tank to reduce the threat of post-crash fires in a wide variety of emergency landing scenarios.
“With nearly 600 AS350s flying in Canada, roughly 75 percent of which are legacy variants for which no other CRFS [crash-resistant fuel system] solution exists, there is a clear safety gap which we are intent on addressing, so we are extremely pleased to now have a certified solution in Canada to begin retrofitting these aircraft,” said Elvis Moniz, StandardAero’s vice president of business development for airframe and avionics solutions. “Canadian operators have established these legacy aircraft as proven workhorses for the susceptible, low-level utility and tour flying that the majority of these machines perform, which is very unique to the region and presents a distinct challenge in terms of crew and passenger safety.
“In order to maintain their value, these older machines must remain competitive with newer aircraft being delivered into the market which come standard with CRFS technology. The StandardAero and Robertson CRFT provides a solution to extend the lifetime of our customers’ legacy fleets with modern, lifesaving technology which is becoming the standard for civilian helicopter operations worldwide,” Moniz added.
“Robertson Fuel Systems is proud to support AS350/EC130 operators with a proven and reliable solution for CRFS compliance,” said Newman Shufflebarger, president of Robertson Fuel Systems. “We are pleased that Canadian partners can fly safer, knowing they have the gold-standard of crash-resistant technologies.”
To date, StandardAero has delivered roughly 160 CRFT supplemental type certificate (STC) kits to customers worldwide. The CRFT is field retrofittable and requires no intrusive structural modifications, resulting in an average aircraft downtime of only two to threee days for installation. StandardAero’s expert service technicians and engineers are also readily available to support in-shop or in-field installations and provide attentive product support to each customer to ensure a successful return to operation in the field.
The CRFT can be delivered to customers in as little as 60 to 90 days, or sooner in some cases. Customers can visit StandardAero during the Helicopter Association of Canada (HAC) 24th Annual Convention taking place Nov. 14 to 16 in Vancouver, British Columbia, to see a model of the CRFT on display.