Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Approval for Airwolf blade tape
Article Type: Safety notes From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 80, Issue 4
Airwolf Aerospace has been granted approval by the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) for its recently FAA-approved rotor blade tape installation STC for Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters. An Airworthiness Directive 2007-26-12 was issued to address delamination of Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters’ main rotor blades. Subsequently Airwolf’s patented blade tape solution won the final authority by the FAA of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC). Both EASA and FAA confirm that installation of Airwolf’s product provides approved levels of safety.
The AMOC permits all R22 and R44 operators to use Airwolf’s tape solution if visual inspections show that the rotor blades are not airworthy, and eliminates the need of daily preflight visual checks, which would otherwise be obligatory under the requirements of the AD. The AMOC also supersedes and removes the restriction on installation of “blade tapes (anti-erosion tapes)”, which was recently added by Robinson Helicopter Company to its maintenance manuals.
Airwolf’s solution STC-SR02491CH is a one-time repair, using an adhesive polymer tape to prevent permanently the leading-edge skin debonding, which occurs when the bond line is exposed due to excessive erosion of the blade finish, or when corrosion occurs on the internal aluminum tip cap.