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As350ba Blade Folding


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Unfortunately our hangar requires us to fold our ASTAR blades each time we pull the machines inside in the winter. This is only from my experience, but here are a few pointers:

1. Get the lightest folding kit (for tailboom) your budget allows

2. Careful when placing the kit on the tailboom and when removing kit from tailboom- astar tailbooms don't like dents very much

3. Make sure the blade pole has carpet or soft fabric of some kind to avoid scratching the blades

4. make sure all your "helpers" know exactly what they are supposed to do- nothing like someone dropping in the blade pin before you have lined up the pin hole- sudden stoppage to say the least

5. Careful when walking the blades with a blade pole when ramp is slippery- almost had a blade dropped last winter when a guy slipped. A quick thinking and reacting engineers grabbed the pole.

6. REMEMBER to put on the rotor brake after the first blade is moved on to the stand(kit)

 

Couldn't agree more that it would be much easier and safer if the hangar doors are big enough to wheel machines in and out without having to use the folding kits. I hope this helps a bit.

 

Fly Safe.

 

 

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Having used a few kits, all made in the field. All had wooden support on tailboom, they have nothing to lock the sleeves in place like the kit from Eurocopter, so dropping the blade will also damage the starflex. Have seen one with the blade carrier pole only supported the blade from bottom, thus if you slipped while swinging blade to support you have the blade come off pole and do huge damage. So make sure your carrying pole slips over the blade for a little more safety.

 

have at least two people and a couple laddres when installing the support on tailboom.

 

Good luck

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used them many a time. as above, extra help and ladders and care.

 

you already have one pin removed. personally. remove the other pin as well and take the blade off.

a lot less can happen and actually faster than setting up the rack. and hopeing it dosn't slip.

nice time to regrease the bores and pins anyways.

 

if i had a choice. i remove them. i hate having to make that call to the head office.

 

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Agreed with all of the above.

 

Put your wheels on the aft most pins to help offset the weight of the blades in the back. A few sandbags or weight of some sort on the toes of the skids will help offset the weight on the tailboom for the person steering.

 

What are your experiences with TC with blade folding? Does a licensed-on-type engineer need to be present? Do you make j/l entries for each and every fold/unfold?

 

I'm curious to see how TC in different regions views blade folding.

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The eurocopter folding kit locks the sleeves in place as previously stated. It also uses special pivoting blade pins to prevent pinching the pins while folding the blades.

You can horse around folding the blades or you can simply take the blades off altogether. The latter, in my opinion is faster, less hassle, and can easily be done with two people.

Look it up in the manual and price the kit out, it's not cheap.

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The eurocopter folding kit locks the sleeves in place as previously stated. It also uses special pivoting blade pins to prevent pinching the pins while folding the blades.

You can horse around folding the blades or you can simply take the blades off altogether. The latter, in my opinion is faster, less hassle, and can easily be done with two people.

Look it up in the manual and price the kit out, it's not cheap.

[/quote

 

You can just as easily slip walking across the ramp carrying a blade. In the same slippery conditions standing on a ladder is no fun either. I used blade folding for three Astars every day and it worked well. They where home made kits made from plywood and carpet. The pole was also a home made work aid with an airfoil slot at the end. If the pole is long enough it will contact the ground and still support the blade in the event of a slip (rotor brake on). The only time we almost had a disaster was when the guy on top pulled out the wrong pin during blade fold out.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

i agree with almost everything stated above about the folding kits. there are some things to be careful with when using them, but in my experience it takes less time, safer and causes less damage to aircraft to remove the blades. I refuse to fold the blades. But it is up to you as it is a proven method and does work. good luck

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