Benchmark results prove possibilities
To prove the efficacy of hub-mounted active systems, LORD teamed with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a major manufacturer of helicopters. Ground tests were performed at a LORD test facility on a Sikorsky CH-3 helicopter fuselage and proved the concept viable to suppression of aircraft vibration. The hub-mounted system was tested under realistic helicopter operating load conditions.
Through the use of hub-mounted and cabin-based active control elements, the anti-vibration system was designed to completely suppress vibratory motions at the main rotor gearbox. Test results showed that the active hub system suppressed almost all of the vibratory loads applied to test the main rotor hub. The system was able to provide more than 90-percent reduction in vibration levels, while delivering a significant weight reduction.
According to officials at Sikorsky, by using this technology on its helicopters, the crew and passengers will experience enhanced safety and less fatigue. Moreover, operating costs will be decreased due to equipment lasting longer in a nearly zero-vibration environment. Future rotorcraft will incorporate this type of technology.
Helicopter vibration can have detrimental effects both on the passengers and the equipment. As helicopter design becomes more sophisticated, so too will the systems needed to suppress and manage vibration. Computerized electronics and microprocessors are allowing the design of vibration suppression systems that offer superior performance through complex operating environments. These new systems offer the ability to lower aircraft weight which in turn is opening up new possibilities in aircraft design.
While technologies such as passive and active suppression systems have been the standard, new technologies, such as advanced active vibration control systems, make it possible to have a jet smooth helicopter ride and a more enjoyable aircraft experience.
About the author
Douglas F. LeRoy, Market and Business Development Manager, Aerospace and Defense, LORD Corp.
Doug leads market and OEM business development in support of LORD Active Vibration Control products and advanced rotor head system technologies within the Americas region. In this role, Doug is responsible for the development, coordination, and execution of commercial market and business segment strategies related to these electromechanical value lines.
Doug has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University. Since joining LORD in 1995, Doug has served in various marketing roles within the business development function and has led several successful multimillion dollar product commercialization projects. He has over 25 years of B2B industry experience. Doug is a veteran and former officer in the US Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program.
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