Helicopter Operators Save Thousands of Dollars in Maintenance Costs with Donaldson Inlet Barrier Filter

Nov. 10, 2014
Donaldson introduced the IBF to the helicopter market 12 years ago

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – NOVEMBER 7, 2014 – Helicopter operators using Donaldson Aerospace & Defense’s Inlet Barrier Filters to protect their engines save tens of thousands of dollars per aircraft in maintenance costs while preserving more power for mission performance.

A division of Donaldson Company, Inc. (NYSE: DCI), Donaldson Aerospace & Defense will be exhibiting its Inlet Barrier filter (installed on an Airbus Helicopters EC130), its new Inducer Vent Filter for the Bell Helicopter 407/407GX and other advanced filtration solutions at Booth 611 during the Helicopter Association of Canada’s 19th Annual Conference & Trade Show, Nov. 7-9, 2014 at Le Centre Sheraton in Montreal.

The benefits of the Donaldson Inlet Barrier Filter (IBF) are illustrated by the experience of Classic Air Medical, which performs air medical, search and rescue and utility missions with six Bell 407s and fixed-wing aircraft from bases in Page, Arizona; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Moab and Vernal, Utah; and Riverton, Wyoming. Classic Air Medical first equipped a 407 with the Donaldson IBF about 10 years; today, each of its 407s flies with an IBF installed.

“We fly a lot of missions at fairly high elevations in hot and dusty conditions and the IBFs give us two benefits,” said Peter Malcolm, head mechanic at Classic Air Medical. “They help keep our engine compressors operating to the scheduled time between overhaul. They also provide full power for flying missions compared to the engine air particle separators we previously used, which operated off engine bleed air.”

There is another benefit, he said. With the added reliability and power, “we get a safer ship.”

Before they installed IBFs, Malcolm said, Classic Air Medical would send one 407 Rolls-Royce M250 engine’s compressor to overhaul each year to repair erosion and subsequent power loss. Each overhaul costs tens of thousands of dollars. “The effects of erosion were very dramatic,” he said. “Typically, we’d start losing power output within 20 hours of operating the engine.”

Malcolm expects to see even more operational benefits from Donaldson’s new Inducer Vent Filter (IVF), which it has begun installing on its 407s. The IVF filters air entering the 407 engine’s centrifugal compressor bleed slot at power settings above 96 percent N1 (high-and-hot performance conditions), providing 99 percent separation efficiency and eliminating compressor blade erosion at the inducer slot. It supplements the IBF’s substantial capability, providing complete inlet protection.

Donaldson introduced the IBF to the helicopter market 12 years ago. Since then, in addition to the 407s, Donaldson IBFs have been installed with regulatory approval on AgustaWestland AW109E/S/SPs, AW119 Koalas, AW119Kes and AW139s; Bell 205A1s, 206Bs, 206L-3/4s, 206L-1(C30)s, 230s, 429s and 430s; Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopter) EC130s, AS350B/BA/B1/B2/B3/B3es, AS350s with Soloy or Heli-Lynx Honeywell engine conversions,  and MD Helicopters MD 369Hs, MD 500s and MD 900/902s. 

To learn more about the Donaldson Aerospace & Defense group, visit www.DonaldsonAerospace-Defense.com.

About Donaldson’s Aerospace & Defense Group

Donaldson’s Aerospace & Defense Group is a leading worldwide provider of filtration systems for the aerospace and defense industry. Our filtration solutions protect fixed-wing aircraft, rotorcraft, military ground vehicles, electronic equipment, space vehicles, missiles, military shipboard systems and amphibious vehicles. We are committed to advancing filtration technology and providing quality products and prompt customer service. Our group serves customers from sales, engineering and manufacturing locations around the world.

About Donaldson Company

Donaldson is a leading worldwide provider of filtration systems that improve people’s lives, enhance our Customers’ equipment performance and protect our environment. We are a technology-driven Company committed to satisfying our Customers’ needs for filtration solutions through innovative research and development, application expertise and global presence. Our 12,800 employees contribute to the Company’s success by supporting our Customers at our more than 140 sales, manufacturing and distribution locations around the world.

Donaldson is a member of the S&P MidCap 400 and Russell 1000 indices, and our shares trade on the NYSE under the symbol DCI. Additional information is available at www.donaldson.com.