Helicopter Rotor Blade Balancing – Tools, Techniques & Education
Helicopter Rotor Blade Balancing – Tools & Techniques
Helicopter Rotor Blade Balancing has long been held as a “Black Art”, a mystical, bewildering area of helicopter maintenance which has predominantly centred around Rotor Track and Balance (RTB). The purpose of this site is to educate the helicopter community in some of the more obscure aspects of Rotor Track & Balance (RTB), Blade Balancing and some areas of vibration analysis & HUMS that have mystified many a pilot and engineer over the years. We don’t profess to have discovered anything new in Rotor Track & Balance or vibration analysis. But we would like to centralise and publicise many aspects of these black arts that have traditionally been kept closely guarded and defended secrets, in particular by the engineering community. Often called “rotor smoothing”, Rotor track and balance has often been thought of in isolation to many other aspects which affects the “smoothing” of the helicopter – the rotor merely being one aspect of this process.
We would also like to educate the helicopter community in one particular area of Blade Balancing which RWAS believes has been inadvertently overlooked for many years in the Helicopter operational & support arenas of the industry. Namely, the importance of controlling and maintaining the Rotor Blade Static balance.
RWAS would like to introduce and educate the community in an important tool enabling this to be done. Potentially without having to have otherwise perfectly serviceable Rotor Blades be sent back to an OEM (Manufacturer) or overhaul facility prematurely.
Generally pilots have tended to be quite mystified and overwhelmed by Rotor Track & Balance and vibration.
This has led to a large amount of misunderstanding, misinformation and total fallacies in Rotor Track & Balance and vibration analysis. Many experienced pilots, including instructors and test pilots have lived with these misunderstandings through their careers and perpetuated this passage of misinformation on the new generation of pilots – perpetuating these myths.
The same is true of many engineers.
NOT FAKE NEWS – One common myth which widely circulates, is that if rotor tips don’t fly in the same track or tip path plane, then this causes the rotor system to be rough. Surprisingly, this is rarely the case.
One key piece of information the RWAS would like to convey and educate to the greater Helicopter community, is the importance of quantifying and managing the Span Moment Arm of individual rotor blades. RWAS will try and demonstrate the huge, needless cost of NOT managing the Span Moment Arm of rotor blades can cause.
It will enable large reductions in spare rotor blade inventories. It will significantly reduce blade overhaul costs and enable operators to keep rotor blades on the hub for much, much longer before returning them back for overhaul. It will ensure the TOTAL interchangeability of rotor blades in any fleet of helicopters.
RWAS will offer simple, easy to implement solutions to manage your rotor blades to achieve these potentially huge money and time saving solutions – providing you use the tooling we will describe and implement the systems that we will try to educate the community in.
RWAS encourages readers, organisations, and manufacturers to read and use the material on this web site for both education and reference purposes. The educational downloads are totally free with no data collection, mining or on-selling of data. It simply allows RWAS to get an idea of who is utilising our site and if they think it is useful for themselves and the industry.
If organisations wish to use our material for reference purposes or reproduce it for educational purposes, the ONLY thing RWAS requests as a matter of courtesy, is a simple email requesting permission that an organisation or institution wishes to use the content for the betterment of the Helicopter industry at large. RWAS simply seeks recognition of the source of the information when using our material. A simple acknowledgement of where the source has come from citing www.rwas.com.au as the source in the arena in which the information may be used, quoted or referred to.
ALL the material on the web site is copyrighted to RWAS. We have been forced to do this in an effort to prevent plagiarism and claiming the RWAS content as their own. Unfortunately this has happened in the past.
All RWAS seeks is recognition that the content herein belongs to and be recognised as the source of these concepts.
Rotor Blade Balancing – Tools & Techniques
Save money. Reduce maintenance costs. Increase your bottom line. Get the competitive edge on your opposition.
Reduce your maintenance test flying by more than 50% increasing your aircraft availability. Reduce your Maintenance Costs. Operators to date have reported up to 80% of their test flying consists of Rotor Track & Balance (RTB) test flights.
After adopting a slightly different approach to rotor balancing using a revolutionary new tool you too will enjoy the remarkable labour, time and cost savings this same system has given to helicopter operators and rotor blade repair centres around the world.
This slightly different approach to Blade Management costs nothing in man hours and virtually nothing in money – BUT has significant savings in man hours, airframe hours and loss of revenue hours/task availability when compared with Current Blade Management practices.
Do you experience any of the following:
- Forced to fly “Sets” of blades?
- Require more than 2-3 flights to complete an average RTB exercise?
- Spend days trying to find blades which will fly together?
- Have blades which will not fly with other blades i.e. do you have “rogue” blades ?
- Carry a large blade inventory to enable you to fly “Sets” of blades?
- Send blades back to either a blade repair facility or helicopter manufacturer to have them balanced or matched as sets?
…then you will benefit from this Web site, particularly the suggested new blade management.
We will outline what we believe is the epicenter of a lot of grief in modern day dynamic balancing in the helicopter fleets world wide. How it often stems from a simple, but much overlooked basic understanding of rotor blade design and manufacture.
It is a problem which has actually been recognized for some time but has failed to be passed on through our teaching institutions for helicopter engineers responsible for rotor track and balance.
This problem is easily – and quickly fixed. It only takes a fundamental change in understanding and managing rotor blades. What many will hail as “common sense” when they grasp the simple fundamentals.
RTB/ Blade Balancing Training.
RWAS can offer training packages customised to client requirements – civil or military, helicopter or aeroplane. It includes one-on-one or group instruction at the clients facilities to train maintenance personnel on the WHOLE balance solution including skill training on the particular model of RTB tuning equipment the client may be using (regardless of manufacturer). Syllabi can be provided on request.
RWAS provides a non-aligned, independent consultancy specialising in identifying weaknesses in current RTB procedures, equipment and practices. It then offers recommendations to improve operational efficiency in the field of RTB and vibration analysis if required.
Let us find the right equipment for your NEEDS and define the most cost efficient procedures for RTB and vibration analysis for your fleet’s requirements.
For further information or questions, contact us.
For description of any topic in detail, download the FREE .pdf document from the Downloads page or from the respective topic page. ALL downloadable documents and programs are FREE. Any details provided are treated strictly confidentially and used purely internally within RWAS.