posted on February 20, 2013 15:14
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has completed the validation of the Model 510 FAA STC. On February 8th, the Simplex Model 510 powerline insulator and windmill cleaning and de-icing system was granted EASA certification (EASA # 10043539) for installation and operation on AS 350 and AS 355 series aircraft. Simplex received an FAA STC for the Model 510 in December of 2011. The Simplex Model 510 for the Eurocopter AS350 & AS355, joins the Simplex Model 508 for the Bell 407 as the 3rd generation certified power line and windmill cleaning and de-icing system for the utilities industry.
Routine cleaning of power line insulators and windmills significantly enhances power transmission and prevents flashovers and other mechanical issues resulting in brown outs or other power outages. “Simplex cleaning and de-icing systems allow utilities and helicopter operators to accomplish the power line and windmill cleaning and de-icing missions with significantly enhanced productivity and safety”, states Mark Zimmerman, President and CEO of Simplex. "Obtaining EASA certification is a critical accomplishment in our mission to increase the availability of our Model 510 to utilities operators worldwide". An operator in northeastern Canada is de-icing windmills ensuring continued power generation for communities dependent upon windmills power throughout the harshest winter months.
Simplex Aerial Cleaning and De-icing Systems provide numerous advantages to utilities operators over conventional cleaning methods. Advantages include reduced operator fatigue, improved safety, and substantial increase in the number of towers cleaned per day. One customer reported cleaning close to 200 insulator towers per day. The efficiency of the Simplex system has increased to the point that the operator has outpaced the ability of the ground crew to keep up with the productivity of the aircraft. Windmill operators report up to 8 times increased productivity over ground based cleaning techniques. The system's 180 gallon water tank significantly increases operating times between refills, and the nozzled boom extends past the rotor tips providing extended washing distance permitting operators to clean hard to reach insulator strings.
Founded in 1946, Simplex has built a reputation as the leader in design, manufacturing, and certification of aerial application systems and mission equipment for helicopters. Simplex maintains its industry leadership by incorporating the latest technology in design and manufacturing systems from high-strength, low-weight composite materials to produce reliable and cost-effective systems for firefighting, agriculture, utilities maintenance and other aerial applications.