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The Impact of New Materials on the Development of Rotary Wing Aircraft

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After a short survey of the current state of the art, as regards the use of new materials on helicopters, and a brief look at the manufacturer's main objectives for future progress, this paper reviews the advantages of these materials both in reducing costs and empty weight and in improving performance and operational capabilities. It then moves to the problems of applying these materials, which have required special efforts from the manufacturer in the fields of design, manufacturing and inspection of the components and in their in‐service monitoring. Next the paper casts a look into the future taking into account the results of current research on the increased use of these new materials for other helicopter components. The effect of this trend on the main characteristics of the helicopter are then described with regard not only to progress with new materials but also by taking into account the expected technical development of turbine engines.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: S.N.I. Aerospatiale, Marignane, France

Publication date: 1981-10-01

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  • The Journal of the American Helicopter Society is the world's only scientific journal dedicated to vertical flight technology. It is a peer-reviewed technical journal published quarterly by AHS International and presents innovative papers covering the state-of-the-art in all disciplines of rotorcraft design, research and development. (Please note that AHS members receive significant discounts on articles and subscriptions.)

    Journal subscribers who are AHS members log in here if you are not already logged in.

    Authors can find submission guidelines and related information on the AHS website.

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