Sikorsky Begins Whirl Testing Active Rotor System

 - August 27, 2009, 10:59 AM

Sikorsky Aircraft yesterday said it has begun whirl testing a demonstration rotor system with active flaps as part of the company’s “commitment to design, develop, test and ultimately field next-generation technologies that will advance the current state of rotorcraft.” Development partners on the project are United Technologies Research Center for the blades and Hamilton Sundstrand Claverham for the flap actuators. According to Sikorsky advanced programs manager Jim Kagdis, “We have reached full speed of 450 rpm and commenced testing flap integrity and functionality. Now we will investigate rotor reconfiguration capabilities to demonstrate the potential to reduce rotor vibration and noise, and increase blade loading, which enables higher maneuverability and speed.” Testing will continue throughout this month and wind-tunnel testing is scheduled for next year. “We are on a path to prove the concept of configuring a helicopter’s dynamic system to maximize aircraft performance, reduce noise and lower vibration while enhancing overall mission effectiveness,” said Sikorsky vice president of research and engineering Mark Miller. “It is another step toward meeting future needs and customer expectations.”