Erickson Inc. has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for the application of its next-generation composite main rotor blades on the S-64E Air Crane.
Erickson began the process of designing the new blades in 2008, working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and various industry partners. In 2013, Erickson collaborated with Helicopter Transport Services (HTS), in order for the blades to be utilized on CH-54 rotorcraft as well.
FAA certification for the CH-54A is expected to follow quickly in the coming weeks, according to Erickson, and certifications for the S-64F and CH-54B are expected this summer.
“As an OEM provider and air operator, Erickson continues to push the envelope to find new and reliable solutions to keep our customers flying longer, safer, and always for the best price,” said Doug Kitani, CEO, Erickson.
In 2015, Erickson built a composite manufacturing facility from scratch in order to maintain close control of blade production. The company explains fatigue testing of the new blades continues, which will increase their usage timeline.