Carbon Tail Rotor
The new Tail Rotor system as shown installed above consists of two major
1. Rotor blades made of rectangular aluminum spars that extend the full span
of the blade which is honeycombed into an airfoil shape and covered with carbon
fiber exterior skins.
2. A new slider hub assembly that uses a delta hinge configuration made of
aluminum plates. The slider is made of Nylatron ® material that is self
Some of the major benefits of this system are:
- Reduced Maintenance - Reoccurring lubrication of the slider is not required
which also reduces dust and other abrasives from adhering to the shaft and
slider. The expanded slider hub will also reduce wear. The carbon fiber
strength of the redesigned rotor blades provides extended life. This is
because carbon fiber characteristics provide exceptional strength per weight
and is extremely fatigue resistant over the standard RotorWay aluminum skin
covering over a steel pipe spar blade design.
- Improved operational efficiency - Eight bearings are eliminated and the
slider is now the self-lubricating Nylatron ® rather than the old greased
slider that RotorWay supplies. The pilot will notice up to 2" less
manifold pressure during hover. This is due to the delta hinge help on
transitional tendencies. This lower manifold pressure translates into
greater power available to your main rotor blades.
- The 2 1/2 degree pre-cone vastly improves the right pedal authority which
the pilot will notice immediately! This provides a major improvement in
pilot's confidence in his authority over the aircraft. The pilot will feel
more comfortable and experience greatly improved control when he discovers
the smooth and even response to his pedal pressure
The following photo is of a RotorWay standard aluminum skined tail rotor
blade that exhibits fatigue cracks after only 80 hours of use. The drilled holes
were made in an attempt to stop the progression and expansion of the cracks.
This type of fatigue cracking ought to make any builder/pilot wary of flying
with aluminum skin blades. Pre and post flight inspection of these tail rotor
blades is a must for your own safety!
These fatigue cracks are "hairline" which requires close inspection of
the blade. The blade shown here is not airworthy.
The next photo below shows the unitized alumnium spar molded design of the PRO-DRIVE,
INC tail rotor blade with the marriage of the newest and strongest material,
carbon fiber. This design takes the insecurity out of your flying experience. It
is one less thing worry about. A pair of these blades actually dug into the
ground an inch and a half in hard clay and were able to fly to a safe location
for repair. The life expectancy of these blades is anticipated to be about 2000
hours, or, the life of the aircraft.
The next picture is a closeup of the Nylatron ® slider and hinge assembly.
This hinge design is similar to the design used on certified helicopters such as
the Bell Jet Ranger and the Robison R22.