The company has announced FAA approval of its next-generation composite main rotor blades.
Erickson Incorporated is an American aerospace manufacturing and aviation service provider based in Portland, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1971, it’s known for producing and operating the S-64 Air Crane helicopter, which is used in aerial firefighting and other heavy-lift operations.
After many years of manufacturing metal blades, the company has invested in the future of the S-64 rotorcraft by designing, certifying, and building composite main rotor blades. Erickson began the process of designing the new blades back in 2008, working closely with the FAA and various industry partners. In 2013 Erickson collaborated with Helicopter Transport Services (HTS), so the blades could be utilised on CH-54 rotorcraft as well.
To maintain close control of blade manufacture, Erickson built a composite manufacturing facility in 2015. After thousands of hours of design, testing, and analysis by Erickson’s engineers and partners, the new composite main rotor blades are now approved by the FAA for the S-64E with an initial life that will increase as fatigue testing continues. Certification for the CH-54A is expected to follow quickly in the coming weeks, and certification for the S-64F and CH-54B is expected this summer.