Urethane Floats Allow Towing Following Water Landing
DART Helicopter Services told Aero-News Tuesday their affiliated
partner, Apical Industries, has received FAA approval for their
Emergency Float System for Robinson model R44 and R44 II
helicopters. EASA and Transport Canada approvals are pending.
The Apical Emergency Float System provides a lightweight and
easy to install solution for R44 Raven operators who routinely or
even occasionally fly over water, and want the added security of
having emergency floats installed. The system is also suitable for
installation on R44 Clipper helicopters.
DART tells ANN that in addition to the benefit of increased
personal safety in the event of an emergency water landing, the
Apical Emergency Float System will allow the aircraft to be towed
to safety after an emergency water landing.
The Apical Emergency Float System consists of two cylindrical
forward floats and two cylindrical aft floats -- engineered to be
mounted on float or standard skidtubes -- and a mechanically
activated inflation system, which includes a composite wrapped
reservoir. (The Emergency Float System with Extensions is available
for aircraft equipped with standard skidtubes.) Each float is
manufactured using a lightweight urethane coated nylon fabric and
is fitted with inlet check valves and combination manual
topping/pressure relief valves.
Maintenance and overhaul requirements are minimal, consisting of
an 18 month inspection/leak test and a three year inspection and
inflation test. The floats do not have an age limitation, and are
replaceable based on condition. The floats are not required to be
returned to the factory for recertification; however an Apical
recertification service is available upon request. Apical also
offers an exchange program for floats and reservoirs.
Apical Industries' emergency flotation and/or liferaft systems
are also available for several other helicopter models, including
the Agusta A109, A119, AW139, and AB412; Bell 206, 210, 212, 412,
and 427; Eurocopter AS332, AS350, AS355 BO105, EC120, EC130, EC135;
MD 369, MD 500 MD 600, MD 900; and the Sikorsky S-76.