ITT Exelis to provide composite assemblies for S-76D
July 29, 2013, Stratford, Conn. - Sikorsky Aircraft has awarded a contract to aerospace technology firm ITT Exelis to manufacture composite tail rotor blade components for the S-76D medium-twin helicopter.
Work for the contract, valued at more than $15m, will be carried out at the new Exelis composite design and manufacturing centre in Salt Lake City, Utah, US.
Under the contract, ITT Exelis will fabricate key structures of the S-76D composite tail rotor blade assembly such as the blades, the composite laminate beam, which bears the load of tail rotors, and additional hardware required for final assembly.
Powered by Pratt & Whitney PW210S engines, the medium-twin rotorcraft features all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades, an advanced avionics system integrated by Thales and autopilot, as well as a health and usage monitoring system and active vibration control.
ITT Exelis stated that composite materials in the tail rotor blade assembly help reduce the weight of the aircraft, improve reliability and lowers noise impact on passengers and communities where it operates.
ITT Exelis aerostructures business vice-president and general manager Mike Blair said: "Composite structures are increasingly used by commercial and military aircraft manufacturers to make aircraft lighter, more fuel efficient and more durable."
The company said that it is well positioned to achieve the production rates required by the S-76D program using its expanded manufacturing capacity, precision composite fabrication and machining expertise and final part finishing capability.
Exelis, which is a long-standing supplier to Sikorsky, also fabricates composite structures for the commercial S-76C platform and the U.S. Marine Corps' heavy lift helicopter, the CH-53K.