R66 no longer snowed un­der

Pilot - - ROTORHEADS -

The Robin­son R66 Tur­bine has passed US Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Trans­port Canada tests to en­able it to fly in snowy con­di­tions.

Tri­als at Spray Lakes, Canada were con­ducted dur­ing a heavy snow­storm with low vis­i­bil­ity at freez­ing tem­per­a­tures, con­di­tions that have been shown to pro­duce worst-case snow ac­cu­mu­la­tion at the he­li­copter’s tur­bine en­gine in­takes. The tests con­sisted of a 100% en­gine ground run for twenty min­utes, hover-in-ground-ef­fect for five min­utes, and sixty min­utes of cruise flight. Per­for­mance was mon­i­tored us­ing pres­sure in­stru­ments and a live video feed from a cam­era mounted near the en­gine air fil­ter. The test re­quired proof that snow build-up did not block the en­gine air in­take or ad­versely af­fect en­gine op­er­a­tion. ‘Pass­ing the test is sig­nif­i­cant as it al­lows Robin­son to elim­i­nate the ex­ist­ing lim­i­ta­tion in the Pi­lot’s Op­er­at­ing Hand­book which pro­hibits flight in fall­ing or blow­ing snow,’ says the man­u­fac­turer.

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