The advanced composite main rotor blades for the S-64 Aircrane and CH-54 Skycrane have commenced flight testing, said Erickson Inc.
Testing for the project, which began in 2010 in conjunction with Helicopter Transport Services, is expected to continue for several months and certification is expected later this year.
The new blades would significantly increase aircraft performance at high elevations and temperatures. They would also increase fuel efficient, reduce manufacturing costs and reduce maintenance costs.
Erickson's senior director of plant operations said the program's goal was to "develop a single main rotor blade that was able to be installed on four different aircraft models." Those models include the CH-54A/B and the S-64E/F.
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