The FAA is publishing a new Airworthiness Directive (AD) for certain AgustaWestland AB139 and AW139 helicopters. It requires repetitive inspection of the main rotor (M/R) rotating scissors for play of the lower half scissor spherical bearing and removing the bearing if there is play beyond allowable limits. It also requires removing all affected bearings. This AD is prompted by reports of certain bearings dislodging from certain M/R rotating scissors.
Two NASA-industry partnerships could produce tangible benefits for aircraft operators in the near term. The turbofan engine research is being conducted by NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland as part of its aerospace propulsion and power program, the same division that Williams International teamed up with to develop the 700-lb-thrust FJX2 turbofan.
Helicopters are expensive because the components that make up a helicopter are costly. But when it comes to replacing some components there are alternatives that can ease the financial pain. Bearing Inspection (Booth No. 1397) is here to explain to helicopter operators how they can save money on the replacement of expensive high-precision helicopter bearings, especially those used in rotorcraft transmissions.