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Composite Tail Rotor Blades Approved For OH-58 Helicopter

STC Issued To Tempe-Based Van Horn Aviation For The Mod

The FAA recently issued an amended Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the Van Horn Aviation (VHA) 206B/L series composite tail rotor blade to include OH-58A+ and OH-58C models after reviewing flight and engineering data submitted by the company.


Van Horn Composite OH-58 Tail Rotor

The VHA OH-58 tail rotor blade features corrosion and damage-resistant carbon fiber skin, titanium root fitting, electroformed nickel abrasion strip, and stainless steel pitch bearings. The blade’s rugged construction contributes to its 5,000-hour life limit, which is double the service life of the OEM blade at a competitive price. The laminar flow airfoil and shaped tip design result in up to a 40 percent decrease in overall aircraft noise according to FAA-mandated acoustics testing. Operators currently flying the VHA blades also report increased tail rotor authority.

“The City of Pasadena (California) Police Department has been flying our blades on public-use OH-58’s for several months, initially to evaluate noise reduction benefits and later for the increased performance,” said VHA president James Van Horn. “The amended STC now allows Restricted Category OH-58 operators to experience the physical and fiscal benefits of VHA blades.”


Pasadena Police OH-58

“One of our primary missions is surveillance, and occasionally you have to operate in a non-ground-effect hover to keep your eyes on the target,” said Sergeant Michael Ingram, one of eight Pasadena Police pilots flying the OH-58’s bearing VHA blades. “The extra tail rotor authority gives you more control and more power in low speed situations.”

FMI: www.vanhornaviation.com

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