CARBON FIBER ROTOR BLADES

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CARBON FIBER ROTOR BLADES

Postby Carl.M » Sun Mar 30, 2008 3:34 pm

Hi All,

Hope everyone got along OK through another winter. I'm sure glad the warm weather is on it's way.

Last fall my interest was peaked when I did some research into carbon fiber manufacturing. I found out a lot of intersting things. It's cheap, light weight, stiff and fairly easy to work with. I also looked into rotor blades. The largest rotor blades being manufactured today are almost 500' in diameter. That's huge! Their being mounted on giant masts as wind turbines. They pivot into the wind and a radar system reads the local wind speed far enough out that the blades can change pitch in advance of a wind gust. The plan, for coastal countries, is to mount these units on off shore bouyes like giant fishing bobbers. This way they will be ble to capture the sea breases.

I developed a plan to make a set of "one off" rotor blades for a Hiller. They will be a hand laid, vacuum bagged, clam shell design. They will be the exact dimension and weight of a standard blade and of course be made of carbon fiber.

The plan revolves around the techniques employed. I developed a low cost machining jig and mold set. I will be testing it as the weather improves as my work space is unheated. The test pieces will be in hand laid fiberglass and be limited to sections under 2' in length. I don't really expect to ever get an order for a set of blades but I am quite capable of making them. Just so you understant, this is a pipe dream.

My backround. I grew up in the mold making business. My Father and Granfather were in the statuary and casting trades and owned a business that made custom molds for lamp and trophy manufactures. As a youth I repaired fiberglass boats and later did some automotive bodywork. I am a finish carpenter. I worked with Corean. I build oak staircases from scratch. I took classes on composite structure fabrication and repair at Vaughn College. I hold one US Patent and have two others in process.

If I were ever to make a set of blades they could only be flown on an experimental aircraft. I would have to make three blades. One for destructive testing. Before I could build anything I would need a run out blade to pattern off of. Could even make a Bell 47 blade as the are both symetrical in cross sectoin.

Also, I found a design company that has the staff that can design a radical blade and create the molds for it on their giant CNC machine. But here were talking major dollars.

So I put this out there. I will test my ideas. If someone wants to go the the next level, I am ready, willing and able. All I need is a solid commitment from a person going in with both eyes open.

I am expecting another good year with my propeller balancing / rotor tracking business. Search Barnstormers, key word 'dynamic', to find my ad. Hope everyone else expecting a good year too.

Carl Mauro
Hudson Valley Aviation
Look for me on www.barnstormers.com
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Postby Pandaz3 » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:05 pm

Sounds like a huge undertaking to me. You might call your local FAA MIDO (Manufacturing District Office) and see what they might need for documentation of your blades, maybe you can develop a "PMA" part that could be sold as replacements?
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Re: CARBON FIBER ROTOR BLADES

Postby Root Pass » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:17 pm

I'm sure this would be a huge under taking but most of the details get worked out by their engineers. Kind of like "Here is my idea figure out how to do it". There have to be several places that can do it we have http://www.sensenichprop.com/ in FL and http://www.sensenich.com/index.htm in PA. You should see some of the new technology and things they have done with airboat props. Just some thinking out loud.
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Re: CARBON FIBER ROTOR BLADES

Postby Pandaz3 » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:01 am

Carson Helicopters are making Carbon blades for the SK-61 series, but they did a swept tip design and went through the very expensive certification process. They are more efficient and have eliminated some maintenance fobbles.
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Re: CARBON FIBER ROTOR BLADES

Postby Tim Tyler » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:24 pm

I have also done some homework concerning building carbon fiber blades for the E Model Hiller.

I am a Quality Engineer for Spirit AeroSystems and actually compile the FAA Form 8130-9 packages (Statement of Conformity) for the Boeing 787 carbon fiber movable leading edges. As a normal part of this certification process I work quite closely with various FAA Designated Engineering Representatives (DERs) and have a rather extensive feel for the types of issues you are likely to face in getting Rotor Blades certified.

I am an A&P, IA and hold a Designated Airworthiness Representative rating (DAR-F) issued out of the OKC MIDO. Most importantly, I am currently restoring a 1964 Hiller UH12-E4L. I have a set of Blades which my friends at RotorCraft in Black Rock, Arkansas just overhauled. One of them has only 800 hours remaining so I will be very motivated to obtain a replacement sometime in the future.

I would recommend you give Jimmy Propst (Owner of Rotorcraft) a call at 870-878-6366 and discuss your ideas with him. He has also done some research into this and has some very valuable information concerning this proposed project.

You may contact me anytime at 918-519-1821.

I believe it is fair to say that without some type of relief from the timed life issue with existing D and E Model Hiller rotor blades (and various models of Bells) the day is soon approaching when none of these machines will be able to fly legally as standard category aircraft.

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Re: CARBON FIBER ROTOR BLADES

Postby Root Pass » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:38 pm

Thanks Tim. It seems like there is enough interest and knowledge to overcome some of these problems I guess all it takes now is time and money. How would the process go to certify a set of new blades?
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