Bell Helicopter's System Enhances Engine Monitoring

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Fixed-wing pilots can invest in engine monitors for careful observation of critical engine parameters, but another Bell Helicopter model now has a certified system that goes one step further; it also monitors vibration. Aeronautical Accessories Inc. (AAI), a Bell affiliate, announced Wednesday STC certification of its Bell Helicopter Vibration Monitoring System (BHVM) for the 212 (Twin Huey) Bell Helicopter. The system "provides drive train health and engine monitoring" to detect defects early. It helps diagnose faults in the main rotor, tail rotor drive system, engine accessory gearbox and combining gearbox, according to AAI. The company says it will help 212 operators avoid larger problems and reduce costs associated with operational interruptions as it has already for Bell's "most rugged and reliable" medium twin helicopter, the 412.

Bell markets the 412 as "the world's most rugged and reliable medium twin-engine helicopter" working from polar ice cap to desert. It can carry up to 13 passengers and offers the lowest seat-mile cost in its class, according to Bell. BHVM for the 212 is now approved by the FAA, Transport Canada and Brazil's aviation regulatory agency. AAI believes it will increase confidence for pilots, safety for passengers and facilitate preventive maintenance.