Leonardo, PoliMi collaborate on helicopter technologies
Leonardo and the Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi) have signed a collaboration agreement to develop new technologies for helicopters, Leonardo announced on 27 July.
The agreement is part of the companies’ expanding collaboration, launched with the signing of Innovation Hub, a multi-year framework agreement, in 2016.
The studies under this agreement will focus on the development of technologies that can be used in mechanical components utilising new lighter materials, which will bring advantages in terms ease of installation. A further research project on predictive helicopter maintenance based on its health status will be launched in 2018.
The technologies developed under this agreement will allow the transfer of loads from the rotor to the main gear box of the helicopter. This will provide a significant simplification of the existing mechanical system due to the use of a single flexible component rather than a complex mechanical system.
Through the project Comfort, Leonardo and the PoliMi are also developing technologies to reduce the vibration and noise of helicopters. The reference platform for the study is the AW139 helicopter.
The research activities are concentrated on three main areas-the rotor, from which the vibrations originate; the main gear box attachments, through which rotor vibrations are transmitted into the helicopter structure thereby reducing the level of comfort and finally on the airframe itself.
The objective of the programme is to demonstrate vibration and internal noise reduction, through the use of passive and active systems. The development of solutions suitable for achieving the objective includes simulation activities and experimental research validation.
Under the agreement, a project focused at predictive maintenance for helicopters based on its health status provided by health and usage monitoring systems will also start by the end of 2018. This will help provide advance indications of anomalies helping to increase safety levels and reduce operating costs.
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