View Full Version : mid air main rotor blade piccys
20th Mar 2008, 00:48
this is one of the blades from the r44 invlved in the mid air with the piper in western australia,
even with this damage the pilot continued to fly the machine to be close to the aeroplane and try to give assistance.
must have been shaking.
20th Mar 2008, 00:54
20th Mar 2008, 01:00
So maybe it's not just paint that holds them together after all???
20th Mar 2008, 01:33
History seen worse ;)
Accidents like that one:
Or deliberate actions like:
Seriously, today's rotors should work with half of the blade blown off... we have the technology :E
20th Mar 2008, 01:43
So maybe it's not just paint that holds them together after all
Dragman, if you look closely you can see the blade has had the airwolf treatment :hmm:
On a more serious note, imabel, it is a bit hard to tell from the photo but did the leading edge of the blade make contact with the aircraft ?
20th Mar 2008, 03:47
I'd love to know how many R44 blades have been deemed U/S over the years because they have had a 3mm dint in the skin, & then to see this which kept flying! Amazing.
20th Mar 2008, 04:23
Preliminary ATSB report (http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2008/AAIR/pdf/AO2008010_prelim.pdf) with some further images and descriptions.
Examination of the Cub indicated that contact damage was limited to the right wing structure consistent with the R44 main rotor blades impacting the right wing support struts. Following that contact, the wing fractured at the inboard attachment fittings and detached from the fuselage. The aircraft then impacted the ground inverted in a steep, nose-down attitude. Following the initial impact, the aircraft rotated to the right before coming to rest, inverted, a short distance from the initial impact point
Examination of the R44 revealed substantial damage to one of the main rotor blades consistent with the mid-air collision (Figure 6). A section of the blade’s skin and honeycomb structure was forced upwards between the leading edge spar and the trim tab, with part of the Cub’s wing skin fabric retained within the blade. In addition, the blade tip had a section of the skin and honeycomb missing at the trailing edge. Both main rotor blades showed paint transfer along the majority of their length, in addition to creases on the lower surface of the blades’ skin.
20th Mar 2008, 04:40
Sheared the strut if I have read the report correctly. Amazing how the damage is only to one blade.
My initial thoughts from looking at the photos were one of the blades may have 'slaped' the top of the Cubs wings leading to a fabric failure.
I've always thought the Robby blades were a bit fragile - got a bit more faith now. Sad way to find out though.
20th Mar 2008, 09:26
I love the tale behind the CH-53 with 3 blades.
...if one blade was damaged and the pilot needed to get out of a hostile area, the damaged blade could be removed along with the two opossing blades to maintain some balance in the rotor system.
How long would that take, how many people would you need and would all ac carry the required ladders + kit?
20th Mar 2008, 10:26
Silsoe, you'd also have great trouble removing opposite blades if you started with seven!!
21st Mar 2008, 01:36
FB, Cant see the Airwolf stuff but can see paint missing from the outboard leading edge.
Amazing how it held together.
21st Mar 2008, 02:07
I dunno Silsoe, I always carry a leatherman multitool with me when I fly. That, combined with the adrenalin of someone shooting at you is bound to be enough to ditch the blades you don't need, wind up and pull pitch...without a doubt you'll be save as houses :)
A bit far fetched huh?
I'm amazed with those R44 blades, everything i've heard about them and seen of them has told me they're as flimsy as you can get. That's awesome.
Reminds me of something I was told about the huey in that you can cut 4 feet off the end of each blade as a combat repair to sudden stoppage damage and she'll fly with no worries. I've yet to have this confirmed by anybody that's actually seen it...any takers?
21st Mar 2008, 08:28
A wise old head once told me the most dangerous thing in the aviation world....
A helicopter pilot with a leatherman.
21st Mar 2008, 10:23
Well, that accounts for 50,000+ military Helipilots................no wonder the public perception is ' Helicopter Flying is Dangerous!!!!' Wise man me A*^E!:}