SAE International® Publishes Critical Recommended Practice Supporting Helicopter Safety & Performance


SAE Committee Develops Document in Response to FAA Safety Request


WARRENDALE, Pa. (Nov. 14, 2023)SAE International’s S-12 committee on Powered Lift Propulsion has released ARP6912 Substantiation of Power Available and Inlet Distortion Compliance for Rotorcraft Engine Inlet Barrier Filter Installations, fulfilling a tasking request from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Inlet Barrier Filters are used to filter fine airborne particles and contaminants that are detrimental to helicopter engines, therefore greatly extends engine life and reduces maintenance actions and related costs.

ARP6912 is the result of tremendous efforts by the S-12 committee. The need for the document originated from an FAA Tasking Request aimed at creating an Aerospace Recommended Practice to provide acceptable means to determine and verify power available, and to substantiate that engine inlet distortion limits have not been exceeded by the modification of a rotorcraft to include an Inlet Barrier Filter System.

This was accomplished by representatives of Inlet Barrier Filter (IBF) manufacturers, rotorcraft and engine OEMs, as well as certification and government authorities (including FAA, TCCA, EASA, NAVAIR), and other experts. ARP6912 provides various acceptable means and methods to establish power available and/or distortion characteristics while considering various scenarios that can be encountered in practice by both Type Certificate (TC) and Supplementary Type Certificate (STC) applicants.
“I’m really proud of our team and of our document sponsors and sub-committee leads who drove this effort to the finish line! This was no easy task, considering all the possible scenarios involved, especially for Supplementary Type Certificate applicants. Our committee hopes that this document will truly facilitate collaboration within the rotorcraft industry,” said M. Drolet, SAE S-12 Chair.
“ARP6912 provides much needed clarity for IBF Supplemental Type Certification. The document provides a road map to help STC applicants like Donaldson navigate the certification of IBF systems and will prove to be a useful tool in the development of future rotorcraft IBF technology,” stated Tom Newman, Director - Rotorcraft Business Unit, Donaldson Filtration Solutions
“ARP6912 provides valuable guidance for certification of Inlet Barrier Filters and was developed concurrently by industry experts from all affected disciplines of the rotorcraft industry. Certification of Inlet Barrier Filters is a complicated and in-depth task, and each project provides unique challenges. This document outlines various approaches, along with identifying common challenges. Aerometals looks forward to the standardization that this document promotes in the TC and STC process,” B. Kellogg, Director of Engineering, Aerometals, said.

David Alexander, SAE’s Senior Director of Standards added, “We salute the work and leadership of S-12 in finalizing ARP6912. This was a complex, safety-related activity which required significant leadership and expertise. S-12 skillfully marshalled technical inputs and considerations from across the rotorcraft industry and regulatory community to produce the document – an excellent example of the partnership between industry and government supporting safety and advancing technical developments.”

S-12 will now continue its work on 14 current works in progress and will meet next in conjunction with HeliExpo in February 2024 in Anaheim, California, USA. The committee welcomes new participation from across the rotorcraft community: contact Lisa Brown at for details.

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SAE Media Contact:
Jeff Laskowski
SAE International
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