Rotor Blade Repair
From fighting fires to performing rescue missions to assisting law enforcement agencies and the military, helicopters are often called upon to tackle challenges and “get close” to structures. They are regularly put into dangerous situations requiring complete operational efficiency. So, you need a reliable partner for proper rotor blade maintenance and repair.
TIGHITCO has provided rotor blades repairs for helicopters in East Granby, Connecticut, since 1998. Our technicians understand there’s a lot riding on your blades, and our services include a comprehensive process to ensure the safety of your craft and everyone aboard.
Our Rotor Blade/Helicopter Blade Repair Process
Helicopter rotor blades offer an exceptional challenge to those wanting to make repairs because of the important role they play in flight. Perhaps you have a cracked blade due to small nicks or dents or more serious cracks noted on inspection or via an indicator. Corrosion or erosion due to missing paint, sand, or water can also affect the efficiency and safety of your helicopter.
Before we attempt any kind of repair on your rotor blades, our experienced technicians will dissemble it to find any and all defects. As part of our training program, technicians spend hundreds of hours simulating and repairing part repairs, including rotor blade repairs.
We thoroughly understand the manufacturing processes used to create these parts and have the specialized equipment needed to repair them without introducing new defects or weakening the structural integrity of this vital component of your craft.
Disassembly, Cleaning, and Inspection
Many sophisticated approaches to inspection are available, but the most valuable and cheapest inspection is still done with no special tools. The eyes, ears, and hands give a technician valuable indications and signals that there are defects in the rotor. Our team also refers to the manufacturer’s manual for appropriate inspection techniques. The state of the trailing edge can determine the lifespan of the rotor blade. A small nick can set up strains that can move to the leading edge and cause blade failure. Our technicians polish out any small nicks as soon as they are discovered to relieve stress in that area.
The technician removes the rotor from the helicopter for a good thorough check,. The inspection starts with a visual inspection with a magnifying glass, followed by an acoustic impact test to find any indications of damage. The coin tap test is performed with a special light-weight hammer, coin, or other object, indicated by the manufacturer’s instructions.
A change in sound may indicate delamination, bond separation, and other damages. Different materials, complex curves, and different thicknesses of materials can influence the sound of the tap. Hence, it is important to understand the material, construction, and composition of the rotor blade for an accurate diagnosis. Other methods of inspection may include:
- Hardness tests
- Moisture tests
Overhaul and Repair
A sampling of our overhaul and repair services includes cracks, corrosion (metal rotor blades), balance problems, and painting blades.
Helicopter Blade Repair: Cracks
Metal blades can develop skin cracks that start as a small nick and spread to more serious damage if left unaddressed. With early detection and intervention, a skin patch typically stops the crack from spreading. In fiberglass blades, cracks develop much more slowly and may not require repairs unless they exceed an allowable limit, as specified by the manufacturer.
For main rotor blades filled with nitrogen, it’s easier to detect the leaks early. These blades often come with an indicator that provides an alert if a small crack becomes unsafe. A halogen leak detector alerts the crew to cracks on other blades.
TIGHITCO can diagnose, repair, and test helicopter blades of various materials, makes, and models.
Rotor Blade Repair: Corrosion
Metal blades will all corrode over time. Primer, paint, and preventive maintenance slow the corrosion process, adding longevity to your rotor blade. We can also treat more serious cases of corrosion to ensure your rotor blade can function properly for many years. Suppose you would like a professional evaluation to determine the extent of the corrosion. In that case, we’ll happily give you an honest evaluation on whether to invest in helicopter blade repair or replacement.
Helicopter Blade Repair: Balance Problems
It’s a joy to fly a helicopter with proper track and balance. If your rotor system develops a vibration, it may indicate water incursion or a shifting component inside one of the blades. Loose ribs and water are two of the most common causes of blade-related balance problems. We can fix the damage and restore a smooth ride for pilots and passengers.
Poorly painted blades can cause balance problems and continuous issues with the function of your blade assembly. Our technicians can remove excess paint and repaint your rotor blades for improved performance in the air. For best results, never touch up the paint yourself or hire nonprofessionals to do the job. At the end of the day, it will cost you much more money to fix it than get it done correctly from the beginning.
Final Assembly and Test
We thoroughly test the rotor after all helicopter blade repair is finished. The exact testing process varies depending on the material of the blade and the repairs required. When you get the rotor blade back, you can take to the air with confidence and enjoy a smoother ride.
Who Should You Contact For Your Rotor Blade Repair?
Ensure that your aerospace services, including the repair and maintenance of rotor blades, are handled by TIGHITCO, a trusted company for aircraft services for many decades. Contact us for your rotor repair and maintenance services and any related services.