For more years than I care to remember I've talked with various engineers about my wish for a cover which could be placed over the blades (awkward I know) in order to provide shelter from the blasting sun in the equatorial lands.
They were always too concerned about damaging the main rotor, accidentally bending the tabs or having the cover catch on the blade tape etc.
Now, having wanted to develop this type of cover for about 20 years do I finally see it in existence on a 407 (one of the types I fly)!
So - if you're visiting the dark continent and you see a helo with what looks like a tent on its roof - that'll be me!
Can't tell froom the perspective in the photo but those ships look to be parked rather close together. I wonder if one took off while the others still had their hats on, if the others would all turn into hang gliders and fly away?
I don't think the wind picking up or any other helicopter taking off nearby would pose great threat. Rotors are made to withstand high forces, and blades do get into incredible coning angles, so even if these covers acted like kites they would in my opinion make no damage.
Also you have to consider, when shades are required is because usually you are in hot climates and there is no much surface wind, otherwise temperature would be lower and probably sustainable.
The military decommissions lots of parachutes every year and they are available to purchase. The material is perfect for these covers. One parachute's worth of material will do a couple of aircraft. Its strong, very lightweight and can be cut and fashioned into just what you need. We used these when I was in the army and needed just this type of cover for our Hawks during the first gulf war. We went outside the system and had these made. cheers,
Albatross that's a cool cover, looks similar to the Bell ones.
The difference this device will make when you are shut down for several hous in the searing heat will, I am sure, be considerable. No more burning seats or scorching one's ear on the instrument panel while adjusting the control locks!
Just a little peeved that I didn't get to do this all those years ago when I had first wanted. A case of better late than never me thinks.
I'd be concerned about a strong wind doing damage to whatever it is tied to versus the blades. Guess it depends on what you are using it for. Sitting next to your aircraft on fire duty or similar, sure thing.
We only used it during the day when we were close to / working on the helicopter - 35C no wind - it was great. Common sense must prevail -
there were tie downs on each front blade too. Certainly would not walk away and leave it on.
Last edited by albatross; 21st Jun 2012 at 11:26.
I am looking for a shade cover for the AS350 Range of helicopters. Parachute type material etc. I read on one of the other forums about " John at Copter covers" doing this. I havesent him an e-mail, but maybe there is someone else as well that does this sort of thing ?
The sun is really killing the laminated bearings on our machines !!
[ Yes, tie downs will be used, and very careful note of the weather will be taken.]
I agree with VH-XXX and Albatross. I have seen the damage that can happen to blades with this type of cover when the wind picks up ,especially if the blades are attached to the cover in some way.Three of four ended up with wrinkles and had to be scrapped.Expensive lesson learned .Have someone on hand at all times to derig quickly.
The sun is really killing the laminated bearings on our machines
That's 'cos they're so damn flimsy
Picked up a parachute in the bush once, and other things, the sort the roving boys use when being resupplied by the black Herc at super low level in the middle of the night. Stupid sods could learn a thing or two about concealment. I thought, what can I use that for? or maybe sell it.
So, I says to an ex copper mate of mine, whose into a bit of dutch auction stuff, "Whaddaya reckon I'd get for a big army parachute?"
Without blinking he says, 'Probably five years!' Sorta went off the idea after that.