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A Rig for the Fatigue Testing of Rotor Hubs

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A rig is described for the fatigue testing of a full‐scale main rotor hub. The load paths within the rig are compact, direct, and self‐reacting. As a consequence, the rig is small and portable. Its main framework is an open pyramid that is constructed of welded steel plates and rolled sections. The rig is capable of applying significant loads. In current tests of a full‐scale rotor hub, the loadings include: centrifugal force = 102,000 lbs; torque = 426,000 in.‐lbs; lift = 16,100 lbs; and hub moment = ±265,000 in.‐lbs. The loads are generated by hydraulic cylinders. The equipment for controlling, measuring, and recording loads is described. In general, such equipment is not dedicated solely to hub testing, but rather is transferable to other projects when not in use for hub testing. It is concluded that the new rig offers a practical, inexpensive method for the fatigue testing of full‐scale rotor hubs.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Kaman Aerospace Corporation, Bloomfield, Conn.

Publication date: April 1, 1987

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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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