E & B Helicopters, one of Canada’s largest operators of Bell 206B3 JetRangers, recently installed VHA main rotor blades on a second 206B3, making E & B the first operator to fly our main rotor blades on multiple ships. Based in Campbell River, British Columbia, E & B uses a fleet of 10 JetRangers plus a few other assorted helos to complete various forestry, firefighting, long-line, medivac, sightseeing and heli-adventure missions.
According to E & B Director of Maintenance Ralph Richier, currently four E & B JetRangers are flying VHA tail rotor blades, and a third set of main rotor blades will be installed in the fall. “On our first (VHA main rotor blade) install, we didn’t have to adjust the track. They flew good right out of the box!” Ralph said in an email to VHA. “The second set did need some tab but moved very predictably and less than a 0.3 degree for high speed. They are sensitive, but using caution and common sense it tracked out better than the Bell blades.”
When we asked Ralph for comments from the pilots on how the VHA main rotor blades fly, he responded, “A more responsive positive feel, less torque required during lift-off, leaving more reserve for safety!”
Thanks to E & B for their support!