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Lord Corporation announces the availability of a new product, an elastomeric tail rotor bearing (TRB) for the AS350 helicopter. Lord’s redesign of the TRB allows for extended visual inspection periods. Inspection is now a lot simpler for the AS350 helicopter and therefore associated downtime much lower with the introduction of Lord Corporation’s newly improved elastomeric tail rotor bearing (TRB).
Current requirements for the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) version of the AS350 tail rotor bearing include a visual inspection every 10 hours, with a comprehensive inspection, including the complete disassembly of the tail rotor, occurring at 600-hour intervals. Lord’s improved design for this aircraft will provide extended life to this flight-critical part and as a result, lower maintenance and direct operating costs. The Lord part is specifically engineered to extend the visual inspection timeframe.
“An AS350 helicopter is typically flown between 300 to 600 hours a year,” said Rodolphe Leroy, manager of global aftermarket sales and marketing, “And in most cases, the bearings do not reach this mark and are replaced before reaching 600 flight hours. The intent of the design is to make sure there would be no unscheduled removal.”
On average, Lord estimates that maintainers will be able to switch from weekly to monthly inspections of the tail rotor bearings with the advancement of Lord’s solution. Lord is currently finalizing validation testing and pending FAA certification on the AS350 TRB parts.