ANTI-EROSION TAPE FOR ROTOR BLADES IN THE DESERT
Rotor blade erosion in a desert environment is a significant problem. Not only is it a problem operationally, but it is very expensive to keep replacing these items. FC 1-111, Combat Aviation Brigade, app H, sect I, Feb 85, mentions this problem, but does not specify any solutions. On BRIGHT STAR 85, a unit placed tape on their blades that proved successful in combating blade erosion. For OH-58 aircraft, they used an 18-inch length on the tail rotor and a 6 ft length on the main rotor, inclusive of the covering tip cap. For AH-1 and UH-1 aircraft, 18-inch and 6 ft lengths were also used. The tape used was NSN 7510-00-720-7516, contract number GS02F38166, LaMart Corp. The tape had to be replaced at least daily.
Another type of tape that has been used is produced by McDonnell-Douglas Helicopter Corp of Mesa, Ariz. This tape is much more durable. Its vital statistics are: tape, stainless steel, part #88-369-D21104. It comes in two different sizes, a 100 ft and a 30 ft roll. The cost (1984) was $222 for the 100 ft roll or $102 for the 30 ft roll. Before you use this type of tape, you must obtain an airworthiness release from the appropriate engineering department for that type aircraft from AVSCOM, ATTN: AMMSAV-EI, 4300 Goodfellow Blvd, St Louis, MO 63120-1798, AV 693-1659.
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