DST ensures safe MRH90 operations
A team of forensic engineers from Australia's Defence Science and Technology (DST) organisation is using forensic engineering techniques and computational fluid analyses of airflow to ensure the safety of the country's MRH90 aircraft, the Australian Department of Defence announced on 4 May.
Since its introduction into service, Australia's MRH90 helicopter has encountered a series of serious incidents. The latest incident involved an Australian MRH90 Navy helicopter aboard HMAS Canberra, where excessive updrafts of wind coming up the side of the ship during the helicopter shutdown process caused the helicopter blades to act erratically leading to unfavourable blade orientation.
A forensic investigation involving Airbus Group Australia Pacific, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group and DST helped the MRH90 to return to service immediately.
Defence Researcher Robert Toffoletto said: 'We are able to incorporate findings from this incident to predict how the issue may affect future trials involving the MRH90 and other navy aircraft.'
DST carries out highly complex computational analysis through simulations to assist the Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit undertake first-of-class flight trials to determine the limits at which new navy aircraft can operate at sea. The process of the first-of-class flight trials identifies conditions in which the ship, aircraft or equipment need to be modified to ensure safe flying activities.
DST's expertise in forensic engineering and helicopter systems analysis, along with Airbus and Boeing, is helping to minimise safety incidents and maximise the safety of helicopter operations at sea.
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