Sikorsky, LORD Corp successfully test helicopter vibration suppression system
Hub Mounted Vibration Suppressor reduces fatigue-inducing vibrations and cuts aircraft weight by 30 percent.
Sikorsky Aircraft and LORD Corporation announced the successful flight test of a system designed to reduce helicopter vibration, which can cause crew fatigue and impact aircraft reliability. Called the Hub Mounted Vibration Suppressor (HMVS), the system cancels the largest vibratory loads near the main rotor hub thus preventing it from transferring to the helicopter’s airframe.
At the American Helicopter Society’s 70th Annual Forum and Technology Display in Montreal, the companies announced that, during preliminary flight testing, the HMVS reduced vibration significantly, with a 30 percent weight reduction.
The two companies collaborated on the HMVS flight demonstration in March at the U.S. Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) in Virginia as part of the Active Rotor Component Demonstration (ARCD) program. Flight testing on an UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter included progression from a hover to 150 kts, auto-rotations and 60-degree angle-of-bank turns. Successful testing in the maneuvering conditions proved the HMVS technology suppressed vibration even in the most dynamic flight conditions.
“This new technology is truly in the spirit of Igor Sikorsky for the way that the team took an exciting innovation from bench testing through successful flight testing,” said Mark Miller, Sikorsky’s VP of research & engineering. “The HMVS reduced helicopter empty weight and dramatically reduced vibrations. We would expect both crew endurance and aircraft reliability to increase substantially under this new technology.”