advanced rotor blade devlopment for R22

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Peet Peet 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #58732
    Profile photo of brian lundy mtnhawker 
    Member

    I am seeking feasibility input from R22 owners, mechanics and flight instructors to the idea of aftermarket development of an advanced set of rotor blades for the R22. As many of you have read (let me know if you would like links to these reports), the R22 has many reports of unanswered rotor separation even with the 2200 hour life and the 12 year required corrosion replacement. With over 4000 flying, it is a great aircraft but time has come to consider upgrading this critical component.  With a rotor blade upgrade to a composite construction, the flight characteristics of the R22 would improve in both performance and safety with added longevity. Virtually all helicopters since the 70's have used cambered and composite blades and there are no recorded fatigue failures of these blades. A cambered air foil (vs symmetrical) will allow optimization of the span wise aero performance resulting in lower drag at higher lift coefficients. A development program like this will take about 18 months and cost about $1.5M which would be recouped through amortization in blade cost. The blades would cost about 10-15% higher but increased life span should offset this cost. My team consists of a very experienced staff of engineers with aircraft and helicopter design, testing and manufacturing experience. Please comment your interest to me and pass this info on. Brian Lundy mtnhawker@gmail.com 

    #60569
    Profile photo of Jeff Abrams jabr800 
    Participant

    I would be curious of any alternatives you come up with.
    My main interest would be improved performance!!!

    One problem I would anticipate is when it’s overhaul time for my machine in a few years, Robinson to my knowledge will only sell an overhaul kit, with a new set of their Rotor Blades, as a way to make things difficult for you probably.
    I guess I could sell those factory new blades to someone else, but I’m guessing I would probably take a $$$ hit, and then still pay whatever premium for yours, so it might be a tough nut to swallow.

    Seems like so many R22’s have gone overseas in the almost 2 decades I’ve been playing this game, I’m assuming you would be able to deal with whatever the foreign entities require, for their certification process?

    Good luck and hoping to hear more on this!

    #61966
    Profile photo of brian lundy mtnhawker 
    Member

    Thanks Jeff. I am aware of problems that could be created by Robinson (which is why I am asking owners for input) but in the end new STC blades will reduce their liability which in the end could save them money. As for your comment on increased performance, new blades will add some interesting features: longer life and lower drag at a lower AOA. This means high density/high load or high speed. Currently the symmetrical blade is optimum just near zero angle of relative wind. This is great at sea level and drag does not matter much because of the density but as speed, load and altitude goes up the AOA increases and so does the drag. This has two effects – more horse power is required (yet at altitude less is available – HP declines 3% per 1000′) and at high AOA, the blade will reduce speed very quickly with the high drag upon engine power loss. That means reaction time to recognize and drop the collective into autorotation decreases as drag increases. Here in SLC UT on a summer day that is a real situation. So you can expect better speed (~9%) and better OGH with new blades AND the autorotation should improve (potentially less stalled and driven region). The life of the blade is also a major factor. Composite materials thrive in cycled tensile loading and when correct galvanic protections are in place, corrosion is not a factor. Very exciting to think about – I hope we can get enough support to do this. Brian       

    #58731
    Profile photo of 13snoopy 13snoopy 
    Participant

    I would be curious of any alternatives you come up with.
    My main interest would be improved performance!!!

    One problem I would anticipate is when it’s overhaul time for my machine in a few years, Robinson to my knowledge will only sell an overhaul kit, with a new set of their Rotor Blades, as a way to make things difficult for you probably.
    I guess I could sell those factory new blades to someone else, but I’m guessing I would probably take a $$$ hit, and then still pay whatever premium for yours, so it might be a tough nut to swallow.

    Seems like so many R22’s have gone overseas in the almost 2 decades I’ve been playing this game, I’m assuming you would be able to deal with whatever the foreign entities require, for their certification process?

    Good luck and hoping to hear more on this!

    How much does Robinson cut the total price of the necessary parts for an overall when you buy the overhaul kit?
    I was told these parts can all be purchased individually and that the price increase when buying all the parts piece by piece instead of the overhaul kit wasn’t hugely significant. Is this true?

    #74233
    Profile photo of sidegrip sidegrip 
    Participant

    Any advancement on this Idea??

    #74250
    Profile photo of Peet Peet 
    Participant

    HI Jeff
    I think it is a great initiative.
    Composite blades have a proven record.
    I really hope you can develop a blade that will have more than 2200 hrs and more than a 12 yr lifespan
    Such a development will give R22 a new lease of life and improve resale value of the machines

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