On October 30, 2020, Arizona-based rotor blade manufacturer Van Horn Aviation (VHA) received a Letter of Acceptance from Transport Canada for the company’s updated composite main rotor blades fitting the Bell 206B JetRanger helicopter. Approved by the FAA in August 2020, the new VHA 206B Version 2 main rotor blades may now be installed for use on Bell 206B JetRangers in Canada.
Featuring corrosion resistant carbon fiber skin and spars, an efficient NASA-designed laminar-flow airfoil, tapered tip, and stainless steel/nickel abrasion strips along the entire length of the leading edge, the VHA 206B Version 2 main rotor blades contain different carbon fiber ply counts and orientations than the original VHA 206B main rotor blades. This “softens” the blades to mimic the ride and feel of metal blades while maintaining the increased performance of composite blades.
“We’ve had very good response to the [206B] Version 2 blades out in the field,” said VHA president Dean Rosenlof. “There will always be some pilots who prefer the metal blades because that’s what they are used to, but the pilots who embrace the responsiveness and increased speed of our composite blades are really pleased.”
Available directly from the company and its distributors, the VHA 206B Version 2 main rotor blades (part number 20635000-501) can replace OEM metal main rotor blades part numbers 206-010-200-133 and up. List price is $60,000 per blade, with a service life of 10,000 hours (double the metal blade) and no overhauls required.