A PROCESS TO DIGITALLY MAP HELICOPTER MAIN ROTOR BLADES IN SUPPORT OF CONDITION BASED ACQUISITION AND SUSTAINMENT ACTIVITY
Cheng, Francisco Y.
Kelly, John P., Jr.
Murphy, David M.
Jones, Raymond D.
Mortlock, Robert F.
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The Black Hawk utility helicopter is a valuable warfighting asset in the Army aviation fleet. The helicopter also has a substantial sustainment and maintenance cost. One particular subsystem of the helicopter is the main rotor blade, which is a critical component for flight and has a substantial procurement and sustainment cost. For the purpose of this research, we examine current main rotor blade inspection methods, investigate advanced inspection technologies, and produce a concept of integration. Digital imaging is also introduced to show how an automated method for inspection produces a return on investment that is worth exploring. The recommendations of using new technologies for the Black Hawk main rotor blades has the potential to not only prevent unnecessary overhaul and repair costs of a rotor blade but also to reduce the schedule associated with sustainment and the logistics footprint. Overall, the recommendations shown in this research offer the Army an opportunity to modernize sustainment practices and reduce maintenance burdens. These same recommended improvements are not limited to the Black Hawk fleet but may be considered for application across the Army sustainment enterprise to increase materiel reliability and improve warfighting capabilities.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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