Sikorsky has completed rig testing of a hub mounted vibration suppression system (HMVS) for helicopters which it says could deliver a ‘jet-smooth’ ride for helicopters.
The HMVS has been developed by Sikorsky and Lord Corporation in association with the US Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate and works by controlling vibrations at the rotor hub and blades. Through phasing of the two rotors, the magnitude and orientation of the centrifugal forces from the rotors can be made to cancel lateral hub vibration.
“Vibration, even at the low levels Sikorsky has been able to achieve, takes a toll on crew and passengers as well as the aircraft,” said Mark Miller, Sikorsky’s vice president, research & engineering. “With the HMVS breakthrough technology, occupants will experience less fatigue and enhanced safety. In addition, operating costs will decrease because equipment will last longer in a virtually zero-vibration environment.”
Sikorsky is planning to conduct a flight test of the HMVS system on a company helicopter during the next 12 months. The company is also planning to integrate it into its lineup of helicopters once development is complete.