Sikorsky Aircraft signs contract to develop enhanced rotor blades

Sikorsky Aircraft announced an agreement with the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate to develop a new, integrated solution for enhanced helicopter rotor durability and capability. Under the $11.4 million, 42-month program, Sikorsky will research and provide a solution that increases rotor blade life in erosive environments, provides a reliable and maintainable ice protection system, and includes an improved methodology for assessing and repairing battle damage. The program could yield significant cost savings as well.

The contract was signed late in the first quarter 2008, and Sikorsky has teamed with the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) to investigate potential solutions for increasing blade erosion resistance. Other team members include SANOVA, Ross Technology Corp., South West Research Institute, BAE Systems, Integran, Engineering Consulting Services, and the Army Research Laboratory. Most of the work will occur at Sikorsky’s headquarters with support at UTRC’s test facility in East Hartford, Conn.

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