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World’s first all carbon-Kevlar composite frameless helicopter fuselage

News International-French

15 May 2013

Composite Helicopter International introduces the KC518, a helicopter with carbon-kevlar composite frameless fuselage.

The design, processes, procedures, construction techniques and laminate structures are subject to various patents. The shell of KC518 can be considered to be ‘monocoque’. There is no frame around which the helicopter is built. This design and the construction technique creates a simple and easy way to build a helicopter. The primary parts of KC518 are manufactured using both infusion and RTM processes. The helicopter fuselage is built from the “outside-in” with the starting point being the fuselage shell. The fuselage must be assembled in a specific order. All bulkheads, keel beams, floor panels and sub-assembly parts are inserted into the fuselage shell through the cabin doors.

All internal parts of the basic helicopter fuselage are trimmed to fit at specific locations. There are numerous datum references which dictate part location. Holding fixtures are easily set up within the fuselage for each part's temporary fixing during primary and secondary bonding.

There are zero riveting and zero bolted joints in the fuselage construction. Riveted anchor nuts are used to secure external cowlings in place and the MRGB engine and TRGB pressurized frames are bolted-in structures. The flight control system, drive train and rotor systems are similar to those commonly in use on certified turbine helicopters. The basic electrical system is a modern design incorporating large gauge primary leads to ensure good starting currents for the turbine engine.

KC518 has been designed as an easy-to-build helicopter. Technical support and direct contact with factory engineering staff will be available via telephone and email plus builders are encouraged to participate in the KC518 Facebook user support group.


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