Composite Technology in the UK Helicopter Industry
Abstract:Since the 1960's there has been a continuing increase in the use of composite materials in helicopters, particularly in the rotor system. To Illustrate the design and manufacturing processes currently in use in the UK two recent examples (vibration absorber and tail rotor blade) are taken from the Westland WG30 helicopter and examined in detail. In both cases very substantial benefits are shown over alternatives. A brief note is then made of more general manufacturing issues. For the future, further substantial gains are anticipated both in the rotor system and fuselage. In the rotor the use of aero‐elastic tailoring should provide both performance and environmental gains whilst in the fuselage there should be substantial savings in weight and cost.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Westland Helicopters Limited, Yeovil, England
Publication date: 1981-10-01
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