The first Bell 525 Relentless super-medium twin helicopter is moving closer to final assembly at Bell Helicopter’s plant in Amarillo, Texas. Matt Hasik, Bell’s senior vice president of commercial programs, told AIN that the three main cabin sections will be joined within the next few weeks. He also said that the first carbon-fiber, all-composite main rotor blade for the 525 has been completed and is undergoing testing.
The FAA is adopting an airworthiness directive (AD) that establishes a new life limit based on a prorated formula for some Sikorsky S-70, S-70A and S-70C components that were previously installed on military helicopters. Some of the parts, including the main rotor hub, main rotor shaft, main rotor spindle nut, rotating swashplate and main rotor gearbox, have been interchanged with military helicopter models with life limits different from those of the civilian version.
An aviation maintenance technician’s self-portrait of his solitary work one evening on the swashplate friction of a large-cabin helicopter was recently awarded top honors in the first-ever photo contest in Rotor magazine, the official publication of Helicopter Association International (HAI).
Pablo Linares of Fort Worth, Texas, used a small digital camera mounted on a tripod to capture his work under the lights. In accepting the grand prize of $500, Linares stated the photo demonstrated that, “Behind a great aviation department, there is always a great maintenance crew.”
A global team of research organizations is quietly working on an active rotor blade in which distributed piezo-electric actuators can change blade twist almost continuously over the course of one blade revolution. Partners can be found in the U.S., Europe and Asia. A full test campaign is scheduled for next year.
Buoyed by steady and solid U.S. government and international work, Sikorsky is demonstrating strong hover performance in challenging economic conditions, and president Jeff Pino’s press conference yesterday morning was one of the more information-rich sessions here at Heli-Expo.
Timken Aerospace Aftermarket Solutions’ $400 million in annual revenues represents a relatively small portion of parent Timken Company’s $4 billion total, but the Mesa, Ariz.-based aftermarket specialist is aiming higher as it moves into the new decade.
The FAA is adopting an airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (Bell) Model 407s and 427s. It is based on a mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) AD issued by Transport Canada.
Hughes 369A, Moulton, Ala., May 13, 2007–The NTSB blamed the crash of the 369 on the separation of its main rotor blade from its tension torsion bar, but
the Board could not determine a reason for the separation. The pilot had recently bought the helicopter and an annual inspection was done just before the sale.
A main rotor blade was replaced and
Once again, an emergency AD (No. 2002-23-51) has mandated no further flight of the roughly 360 Bell 407 helicopters currently in service. The November 13 AD was prompted by two reported failures of the stud from a swashplate drivelink assembly. One or both swashplate drivelink cup washers may have been installed incorrectly.
Bell/Agusta’s BA609 looks nothing like the finished article in the VMSIL. In place of a fuselage and wings, the tiltrotor’s systems, interfaced with an aircraft flight-simulation host computer, are spread across three separate areas in the lab.