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Development Program for Field-Repairable/Expendable Main Rotor Blades

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Final rept.

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This report details the work completed in designing and developing a main rotor blade for the UH-1DH Helicopter which would reduce the Armys blade- related helicopter costs. This cost reduction results from designing a blade with high repairability to reduce damage-related repair and scrappage costs, high survivability so that required repairs are minimized and low production cost so that the blade could be economically discarded in case of severe damage. The program was unique in that reliability and maintainability personnel had inputs to the designs from their inception in the comparison of candidate designs and the selection of the final design concept. A maintenance philosophy was developed for the blade, and the repair techniques developed were proven to be easy to apply, and structurally sound during fatigue and whirl testing. Thus, the blade was shown to be repairable after extensive damage, and the repairs required less time than is normally required for blade removal and replacement. During the design of the blades, components were evaluated for their durability under the extremes of the Armys operating environment prior to their incorporation into the final design concept, and the design was analyzed and projected to be no less durable than the present UH-1DH blade. The survivability, acquisition cost, repair cost, and replacement costs were all used to predict the life-cycle costs of the new blade in comparison to that already in use. This comparison showed that a substantial cost saving could accrue to the Army as a result of employing this new design philosophy on helicopter blade acquisitions.

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  • Helicopters

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