In 2017, statistics indicated that more than 13,500 aircraft service technicians and mechanics were employed in the United States. As an aircraft service technician or mechanic, one of the tasks that you may have come across involved working on the helicopter rotor track and balance. This is one of the most challenging parts of aircraft maintenance.
If you haven’t handled this before, the chances are that you are about to. This is likely the reason you are researching for information on maintenance for aircrafts. You want to get it right, and therefore you want to go in prepared.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you expertly undertake the task and also take your aircraft maintenance skills to the next level.
When to Perform a Helicopter Rotor Track and Balance
In most cases, each manufacturer has a specific interval after which maintenance for aircrafts should be done. You should know that the maintenance guidelines only apply to the aircrafts made by the particular manufacturer.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to rotor track and balance is to have the system checked whenever its components are adjusted or changed. These components include swashplate, cyclic, pitch links, or any other part of the system.
Moreover, an aircraft maintenance procedure should be done on rotor track and balance whenever a pilot reports changes in the vibration characteristics of the helicopter. Here are some tips and hints on how to go about it.
Which Equipment Should You Use?
How excellent the tools and equipment you use are, will play a significant role in how successful you are in this task. The aviation equipment you need in this case is the most suitable vibration analyzer.
You should use a digital analyzer if possible. Today, digital equipment has primarily taken over maintenance for aircrafts making your work as a mechanic or supervisor much simpler.
Digital aviation equipment will give you much more accurate data whenever needed and also arrive at these results much more quickly. If you are dealing with analog equipment, you should make sure that everything is well calibrated.
Now that you have the right aircraft maintenance equipment, acquiring data to make the necessary corrections is the next step. You can check the maintenance manual for a guideline on how to obtain the data. You will need to take different measurements with a vibration analyzer to get the data.
Making the Needed Corrections
Once done with the data collection, you will have to analyze it and make the needed corrections. There are two primary corrections that you can make to a helicopter rotor track and balance, lateral and vertical.
- Vertical corrections: These corrections are done to solve the vibrations that are brought about by imbalanced lift generated by the primary rotor blades.
- Lateral corrections: These are corrections done to rectify the imbalance in the mass distribution on the rotor disk.
You can use portable vibration balancing equipment to make these corrections.
Why Is It Vital to Get This Maintenance for Aircraft Task Right?
As the service technician or mechanic, you must get the rotor track and balance correction right. Here’s why:
- It will optimize the safety of the aircraft, thus making sure that those who will be using it for travel are safe. Even in the event of bad weather, a well-done rotor track and balance correction will allow the pilot to maneuver the helicopter better.
- It will improve the lifespan of the helicopter. Proper aircraft maintenance will help it maintain its optimal working condition for longer, and therefore you won’t have to replace it soon.
- If you do your helicopter rotor track and balance inspection regularly, you can catch problems before they become worse. This can help you avoid having to deal with more advanced issues, thus saving you money and time.
You are a specialist in maintenance for aircraft, and you should make sure that you are thorough in your work. Apart from the helicopter rotor track and balance maintenance, you should go the extra mile of making sure that the aircraft is working optimally.