S-64 Composite Main Rotor Blades First Flight
Erickson and Helicopter Transport Services (HTS) announce first flight of its advanced composite main rotor blades for the S-64/CH-54 helicopter
Erickson, July 25, 2016 - PORTLAND, Ore. - Erickson Incorporated and Helicopter Transport Services (HTS) are pleased to announce the first flight of its advanced composite main rotor blades for the S-64 Aircrane and CH-54 Skycrane.
“As a legacy aircraft services provider, we are constantly seeking ways to innovate and improve upon existing platforms to ensure these aircraft stay competitive,” said Dale Roberts, Senior Director of Plant Operations at Erickson Incorporated. “The composite main rotor blade program is a great example of our team’s engineering and manufacturing breadth and depth.”
Flight testing is expected to continue for several months and certification is expected later this year.
“Overall, we wanted to create a composite blade that would significantly improve aircraft performance, and our composite main rotor blade program includes several elements to meet that goal,” said Roberts. “Primarily, the program was designed to develop a single main rotor blade that was able to be installed on four different aircraft models: CH-54A&B and the S-64E&F."
“This is a momentous achievement for the team and we are enjoying a great partnership between our two companies,” said Mark Pilon, General Manager of HTS. “We are excited about our investment in innovating improvements for our heavy lift fleet and look forward to introducing the benefits of these blades to the market.”
The new rotor blades are expected to significantly increase aircraft performance at high elevations and temperatures as well as increase fuel efficiency, reduce manufacturing costs and reduce maintenance costs. The rotor blade simply bolts onto the existing rotor heads of the CH54B/S64F and requires a minor main rotor head modification for the CH54A/S64E.
The blade program was kicked-off by Erickson and HTS in 2010, with the design being finalized in 2013. Last year, Erickson designed and completed the construction of a 12,000 square foot composite manufacturing facility in Medford, Oregon where the blades are now produced.
About Erickson: Erickson (NASDAQ:EAC) is a leading global provider of aviation services and operates, maintains and manufactures utility aircraft to safely transport and place people and cargo around the world. The Company is self-reliant, multifaceted and operates in remote locations under challenging conditions specializing in Government Services, Manufacturing and MRO, and Commercial Services (comprised of firefighting, HVAC, power line, construction, timber harvesting, oil and gas and specialty lift). With roots dating back to 1960, Erickson operates a fleet of approximately 80 aircraft, is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, USA, and operates in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, and Australia. For more information, please visit our new website at www.ericksoninc.com.
About Helicopter Transport Services: Helicopter Transport Services (HTS) is a pioneering aviation service provider with over 40 years of experience in providing turn-key aviation solutions to clients all over the globe. From the Canadian high arctic to remote locations in the South American Amazon jungle, HTS' customers will testify that there is no substitute for a company that specializes in aviation operations in the most desolate areas of the world. With a diverse fleet of more than 75 aircraft, ranging from the lightest to the largest rotorcraft in the western world, we can fly any mission, anywhere, anytime. The company’s heavy-lift division is based in Aurora, Oregon and is the type certificate holder for the HTS CH54 Skycrane helicopter. Our heavy-lift services include aerial fire suppression and wildland fire management, oil & gas exploration, pipeline construction, aerial power line construction, aerial lift work, mineral exploration and mining support, and general external load and long-lining operations.