Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Preventing delamination of Robinson helicopter rotor blades
Article Type: Materials From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 80, Issue 2.
Airwolf Aerospace LLQ a division of Airwolf Filter Corp, a major company in firewall-forward accessories for aeroengines, has been awarded FAA STC No. SR02491CH to prevent permanently the leading-edge skin delamination occurring on Robinson R22 and R44 helicopter main rotor blades.
The factory Service Bulletin notes that main rotor blade skins begin to debond at the skin-to-spar bond line on the lower surface near the blade tip. Debonding can occur when the bond line is exposed due to excessive erosion of the blade finish, or when corrosion occurs on the internal aluminum tip cap.
Robinson Helicopter Company has issued Service Bulletins to inspect and address the problem using repeat-as- necessary paint applied to the affected areas, while Airwolf's STC comprises a permanent, one-time application of Airwolf Rotor Blade Protective Tape (RBPT) to the outer section of the main rotorblades.
There are over 8,000 Robinson R22s and R44s on North American and international registers. Airwolf's one- time solution eliminates the need for blade repainting.
Jonny Quest, Airwolf Technical Director, said this STC solves a recurring problem. “The factory `solution' is really a band-aid, while ours is simple and permanent” he said. “It comprises the application of a specially-formulated adhesive polymer tape which has been time-tested by the military in both the Gulf War and the Iraq war.”
“Water, dust, sand and other contaminates can't penetrate the tape, while the factory `paint solution' requires repetitive inspections and continual repainting throughout the blade life” he added. “However, the risk of a blade delamination is still great and the replacement cost very expensive if this occurs. The Airwolf RBPT is inexpensive insurance to prevent this from happening.”
For further information, please contact: Airwolf Aerospace LLC, Tel: +1 800 326 1534, web site: www.airwolfaerospace.com