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Heli-Expo 2018: Helitune’s RT-6 balancing books for operators (video)

21st February 2018 - 13:35 GMT | by Helen Haxell in Torrington

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Rotor track and balance technology is saving users time and money through the application of the RT-6 (pictured) from Helitune, which has been demonstrated by its flight reduction and quick processing of results.

Helitune’s RT-6 is a system built for rotor track and balance - it measures the vibration and the rotor blade track split, Peter Morrish, technology manager at Helitune, stated. The aircraft can then be ‘tuned’ based on these findings.

It can be utilised in flight, during hover, as well as on the ground collecting data from accelerometers. The technology then processes the information providing the user with the levels of vibration which allows the user to make the appropriate adjustments to the blades.

‘From tests that we have done with other systems that have been used by customers, where typically on something like an EC145 using [competitors] systems it might take four or five flights to do a rotor track and balance exercise,' Douglas Graham, general manager at Helitune, commented.

‘With the RT-6 its about two to three flights so on average we are saving two flights. When you compound up the amount of rotor track and balance activities that an MRO might do – that results in a rather big saving.'

Helitune is expecting two additional customers for the system in Q1 but could not provide further details at this stage.

The RT-6 has 16 channels but in comparison with its predecessor, the RT-2000, it is a much smaller design.

The technology measures all sensors in parallel which Graham explained to Shephard helps speed up the end results for the operator. The result is data collection time of each flight condition is coming down 'from three to four minutes to a couple of tens of seconds'.

Therefore, the system, he added, was using less flights and this is further heightened by the shorter duration of each flight.

Graham said that due to the RT-6 being a rugged and robust product it has proven popular with military operators.

Currently, it is utilised by operators in the civil and military rotorcraft markets including, but not exhaustive, Kopter, the Royal Thai Army and the Botswana Defence Force.

The RT-6 was launched in September 2015.

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