Bell to Install FAA Certified BLR FastFin Enhancement on New 412s; Data Reveals Significant Performance Gains

Everett, Wash., July 19, 2010 — Bell Helicopter today announced its intent to install BLR’s FastFin™ Tail Rotor Enhancement and Stability System as standard equipment on new Bell 412 helicopters.

This announcement coupled with the Federal Aviation Administration’s recent certification of its Bell 412 FastFin System, has officials at BLR Aerospace flying high.

“We are proud to partner with Bell Helicopter in contributing to the success of such a proven multi-mission platform,” said Dave Marone, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for BLR Aerospace. “We consider this a game-changing event for BLR’s FastFin technology and are confident that it will provide immediate value for the Bell 412 operating community. We thank everyone at Bell Helicopter for their steadfast support.”

In addition to installation on new Bell 412 EPs, which will begin immediately as factory-installed modifications, BLR is accepting orders to retro fit the system on any Bell 412 fielded aircraft for fleet operators of 9 or less aircraft. Bell Helicopter affiliate, Aeronautical Accessories is accepting orders for fielded fleet operators with 10 or more aircraft.

Certified performance data show a range of improvements for Bell 412 helicopters. Most operators using the FastFin system will realize at least a 275-pound increase in useful load, plus significant safety, stability and wind azimuth benefits.

Depending on operating altitudes, the system can pay for itself in 1-2 years for many operators flying 400 hours annually. Operators may realize up to a 1,250 pound increase in useful load when flying at 5,000 feet on a hot day.

“Providing our customers with a complete mission solution is one of Bell’s top priorities,” said Larry D. Roberts, Senior Vice President Commercial Business. “The FastFin System delivers the kind of performance benefits that allow Bell helicopter operators to more effectively and efficiently complete their missions. We are pleased to partner with BLR to provide our customers with this increased benefit.”

“This decision verifies what so many operators already know,” Marone said. “FastFin is an enhancement that improves operations in an immediate and measurable way.”

Installation of the FastFin™ Tail Rotor Enhancement and Stability System kit involves modifying a helicopter tailboom with two parallel strips (known as Dual Tailboom Strakes), and reshaping the vertical fin to optimize airflow around the tailboom. These simple changes deliver a range of important benefits to operators who fly the modified aircraft.

“No matter the mission, today’s operators are looking for every competitive advantage,” Marone said. “Our technology expands the envelope and helps operators achieve maximum return on their capital investments.”

More than 200 medium FastFin systems are in operation worldwide. BLR in May announced an FAA certified performance increase of 78 percent for FastFin installations on UH-1 helicopters equipped with Lycoming T-53-13B engines.