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Ducommon AeroStructures recently won a large contract from Carson Helicopters for composite main rotor blades for the Sikorsky S-61 helicopter which feature Rohacell’s structural foam.
As a key component of the recent Ducommon Aerostuctures contract with Carson Helicopters for composite rotor blades, Rohacell will provide structural foams to increase strength-to-weight properties.
The contract was valued at more than $8 million for production of state of the art composite main rotor blades usable on all Sikorsky S-61 helicopters. The new Carson Composite Main Rotor Blades will allow S-61 Helicopters to lift an additional 2,000 pounds and fly 15 knots faster than existing metal main rotor blade equipped aircraft. In addition to the significant performance improvements, the new Carson blades have twice the service life. The blades have received FAA Certification and are being offered as a retrofit product to commercial and military operators worldwide. There are 5 blades per helicopter and there are currently over 600 S-61s available for retrofit.
The composite blades utilize Rohacell 71WF structural foam as an integral part of the main spar providing improved strength-to-weight properties. The entire blade will be co-cured resulting in some cost reduction during manufacturing, and will have a large bearing on the weight savings achieved compared to the original metal blade design previously used. This saving will allow the helicopter to lift additional weight and fly at faster speeds.
A Carson Helicopter designed main rotor blade system containing Rohacells structural foam spar is also being considered for use on the US101 Presidential Fleet.
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