Van Horn Associates (Booth No, 2012) said it completed flight testing of a new composite carbon fiber spar and skin tail rotor blade for the Bell 206B earlier this month. The company reports that the new blade increases high-altitude hover performance and decreases required pedal pressure compared to the original equipment blades. Van Horn estimates that fatigue and acoustic testing on the new blade will be completed by early summer.
Semia, a French manufacturer of maintenance equipment, was at Helitech 2008 exhibiting the Syntham 5000, a new engine vibration-check device that can monitor several channels simultaneously.
Louis Martin wants his company, Technical Composites Corp., to “seek its own level in the industry,” as a distinct and growing brand, though still connected in service philosophy and ownership to Lou Martin & Associates, his composite business. Martin is discussing the capabilities of both brands from his booth (No. 4281), as well as marking his 30th year in service.
There’s usually more than a little one-upmanship to business aircraft interiors. Why settle for those so-last-year man-made or leather furnishings when you can have natural mohair or Alpaca fibers provided by rare breeds of goat?
Mitsubishi MU-2B-40, The Woodlands, Texas, May 1, 2001–The NTSB determined that the probable cause was the pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control following a loss of right engine power, which resulted in hitting terrain in an uncontrolled descent. A contributing factor was the loss of right engine power as a result of the fatigue failure of the propeller shaft coupling.
Doncasters is investing close to $350,000 to develop the plasma spray facility at Doncasters Airmotive and Doncasters Aerospace Components in Shrewsbury, UK. Plasma spray technology is used to apply various metallic and ceramic coatings onto components by feeding the metallic or ceramic powder into a plasma flame with intense heat that melts the powder and sprays it onto the component.
There were many times during my years as a mechanic when I was working totally exhausted, but for a number of reasons I continued past the point that I was in danger of causing damage to an aircraft or to myself. For years many of my coworkers and I believed that we were OK to work and not impaired by a lack of rest.
The NTSB has issued a Safety Recommendation calling for the development of nondestructive testing techniques for Robinson main rotor blades after approximately 596 hours time-in-service to check for bond defects in areas between the skin and spar at the tip of the blade and between the skin and tip cap on all R22s and R44s.
Ongoing research into new composite materials is expected to yield major enhancements in performance, weight and cost for the aerospace industry in the coming years. New ways of laying up carbon fiber, such as weaving, are already enabling more complex shapes. Thermoplastic resins are making manufacturing easier, and the practice of integrating several functions into one part is reducing part counts.
The FAA today wrapped up its first symposium focused specifically on managing fatigue in aviation.