Design flaw blamed for cracks in tails of military’s Cyclone helicopters

The Dep. of National Defence is attributing cracks not too long ago came upon within the tails of the bulk of Canada’s Cyclone helicopters to a design flaw.

In an announcement Monday, the dep. said its technicians and Cyclone producer, U.S.-based Sikorsky Airplane, made an “preliminary choice” that equipment at the tail sections of the plane was once too heavy to be supported in flight, thereby inflicting the cracking.

It directed questions about the cracks to Sikorsky.

the primary crack was came upon throughout regimen maintenance of a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter on Nov. 26, 2021. When the remainder of the fleet used to be inspected, cracks had been found in 21 of the 23 Cyclones.

The fleet used to be grounded whilst plans were made on the way to proceed with maintenance.

Tension on Cyclone tails no longer expected: Sikorsky

Sikorsky spokesperson John Dorrian told CBC News the cracks ​​”are the outcome of local stresses resulting from the electronic toughen measures and satellite/communications antenna mounts which were not up to now anticipated.”

The Cyclone is a militarized model of the Sikorsky S-NINETY TWO civilian helicopter.

Dorrian mentioned the S-NINETY TWO does not have the same digital beef up measures and antenna mounts because the Cyclone, and has not skilled the similar cracking problems.

Repairs on the Cyclones had been ongoing at 12 Wing Shearwater close to Dartmouth, N.S., with every aircraft’s cracking requiring a “unique resolution,” said the Defence Department. 

As of Jan. 28, 11 of the Cyclones had been repaired, with an extra 4 present process maintenance. the department stated it didn’t be expecting any introduced costs to taxpayers related to the repairs.

the dep. additionally said in its observation the repairs don’t seem to be an enduring repair.

A Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone, a militarized version of the S-NINETY TWO helicopter, is observed right here at 12 Wing Shearwater. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

Dorrian stated Sikorsky is working with the army to ascertain a “ultimate decision” of the reason for the cracks through the top of February before developing an enduring approach to the problem.

“The lengthy-time period resolution will take under consideration these load paths, mitigate the native pressure at those interfaces and do away with the reason for the cracking,” Dorrian mentioned in an e mail.

Cracks in tails of RCAF Cyclone helicopters lift ‘serious considerations,’ says expertFixing cracks in CH-148 Cyclones requires different strategies

in the early 2000s, the Cyclone model was selected to exchange the army’s 50-yr-vintage CH-124 Sea Kings.

Canada has the only Cyclones within the global and continues to be looking forward to 5 to be introduced.

the purchase of the Cyclones has been closely criticized; the unique 2004 finances for the helicopters’ procurement was once $THREE.2 billion, however that number had ballooned to $5.7 billion via 2014.

In 2020, a Cyclone crashed in the waters off Greece on account of a glitch with the autopilot serve as, killing six contributors of the Canadian army.

The Defence Division said in its statement the air pressure has a “robust flight safety tradition” and it is now not unusual for problems to be found early within the existence cycle of latest airplane, such because the Cyclones.

“there’s no fast protection danger, and we’ve entire confidence in the speedy solution being applied,” the dep. stated.

“The fleet continues to be operational and will be monitored and tested on a normal foundation according with our airworthiness program.”

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