Available Technology

Weight Saving Technology

Significant weight reduction was achieved in the twin-turbine S-76 helicopter by use of composite materials, which are generally stronger and lighter than conventional aircraft materials. NASA composite technology played a part in development of the S-76. Sikorsky Aircraft designed and flight tested a helicopter built using composites instead of conventional materials in such components as the horizontal stabilizer, trail rotor, doors, pylons, fairings, cockpit canopy and floors. This was a weight savings of 30 percent which contributed to a substantial increase in helicopter performance. This lead to use of composites in Army Black Hawk Combat Support helicopters and Navy/Marine Corps CH-53 transport helicopter, both being produced in quantity.
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