Unmanned solutions specialist UAVOS has created a qualitatively new main rotor blade to be installed on helicopters with 35kg take-off mass and rotor diameters of 2600mm.
New product development and production were carried out by the company’s rotor blade specialists at its in-house production facilities.
The one-step blade moulding technology, using polymer composite materials and an improved aerodynamic shape, will dramatically affect the entire flight performance of the machine, according to the company.
Usually, when mass produced, the main rotor blade is made by gluing together the lower and upper surfaces.
UAVOS’ solution uses a technology that forms a composite ‘prepreg’ material, which involves the manufacture of a blade airfoil in a single step moulding.
This method eliminates the delamination of the lower and upper planes, since there is no glue seam. In addition, the design allows for the warping and narrowing of the blade, thereby increasing strength and rigidity while offering high aerodynamic characteristics.
UAVOS said the benefits include increased lifespan, reduced production costs, improved performance and more reliable flights in warm climates.
Aliaksei Stratsilatau, UAVOS lead developer, commented: “We had to develop and manufacture a blade of our own because we were unsatisfied with what the market had to offer. Firstly, during tests it turned out that the blades have a rather low efficiency; secondly, there was no available documentation with off-the-shelf blades to confirm their reliability and quality.
“During project development, our team used calculations based on their experience of blade testing for our high-altitude aircraft. Bench tests confirmed our calculations to be correct and demonstrated that the efficiency of the UAVOS blade is higher by 20%.”
California-based UAVOS recently raised a round of financing as part of a move to enhance its R&D activities.