Middlefield, OH, November 2, 2007
Airwolf Aerospace LLC has been awarded FAA STC# SR02491CH to permanently prevent the leading-edge skin delaminaton occurring on Robinson R22 and R44 helicopter main rotor blades.
This solution was originally formulated for Military Helicopters in the Gulf War. Helicopter blades were wearing out in as little as 20 hours due to the high sand environment. This solution has proven itself in the Iraq War. Airwolf is the first to bring this outstanding solution to commercial aircraft.
The factory Service Bulletin notes that main rotor blade skins begin to debond (separate) at the skin-to-spar bond line on the lower surface near the blade tip. Debonding can occur when the bond line is exposed due to excessive erosion of the blade finish, or when corrosion occurs on the internal aluminum tip cap.
Robinson Helicopter Company has issued a Service Bulletin to inspect and address the problem, while Airwolf’s STC comprises a permanent, one-time application of Airwolf Rotor Blade Protective Tape (RBPT) to the outer section of the main rotorblades.
There are over 8,000 Robinson R22s and R44s on North American and international registers. Airwolf’s one-time solution obviates the need for ongoing blade inspections and re-spray applications.
Jonny Quest, Airwolf technical director, said this STC solves a recurring problem. “The factory ‘solution’ is really a band-aid, while ours is simple and permanent,” he said. “It comprises the application of a specially-formulated adhesive polymer tape and once installed, is the best solution to prevent delamination of the rotor blade.
“Water, dust, sand and other contaminates can’t penetrate the tape, while the factory ‘paint solution’ requires repetitive inspections and continual paint repainting throughout the blade life,” he added. However, the risk of a blade delamination is still great and the replacement cost very expensive if the blade delaminates so the Airwolf RBPT is cheap insurance to prevent this from happening.
Robinson operators, mechanics and maintenance departments can order the Airwolf RBPT factory-direct at www.airwolfaerospace.com or at 800-326-1534.