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Fibrous composites offer significant potential for structural improvement in VTOL (vertical take off and landing) aircraft. In addition to the potential for light weight fuselage structures, composites offer the unique capability of providing dynamic tuning of the fuselage. Composites provide substantial potential for helicopter rotor blades because of improved fatigue capability, good damage tolerance, and ability to be molded in complex aerodynamic configurations.
This chapter summarizes the major design considerations in VTOL aircraft and reviews composite hardware which has been developed to date.
composite materials, fibers, aircraft, helicopters, rotary wings, fatigue (materials)
Chief, Structures and Materials, Sikorsky Aircraft, Stratford, Conn.