Helicopter Maker Says New Rotor Technology Will Improve
As part of an effort to improve helicopter performance,
Sikorsky has begun whirl testing a demonstration rotor system with
active flaps. The effort is jointly funded by Sikorsky and
the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD). Sikorsky
Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.
"We have reached full speed of 450 rpm and commenced testing flap
integrity and functionality," said Jim Kagdis, program manager for
Sikorsky Advanced Programs. "Now we will investigate rotor
reconfiguration capabilities to demonstrate the potential to reduce
rotor vibration and noise, and increase blade loading, which
enables higher maneuverability and speed."
Testing is expected to continue through the month of August.
Wind tunnel testing at the NASA is planned in 2010.
"The beginning of active rotor program testing is evidence of
Sikorsky's commitment to design, develop, test, and to ultimately
field next-generation technologies that will advance the current
state of rotorcraft," said Mark Miller, Vice President, Research
& Engineering. "We are on a path to prove the concept of
configuring a helicopter's dynamic system to maximize aircraft
performance, reduce noise and lower vibration while enhancing
overall mission effectiveness. It is another giant step
toward meeting future needs and customer expectations."
Development partners on the project are United Technologies
Research Center (UTRC) for the blades and Hamilton Sundstrand
Claverham for the flap actuators.