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Updated: Nov 2, 2018

Carson Helicopters, Inc. is pleased to announce that on March 13, 2018, the FAA issued an STC for Carson’s Composite Short Spar Main Rotor Blade. Like the Carson Composite Main Rotor Blade, which was approved by the FAA in 2003, the short spar blade replaces the old metal blade which is no longer in production and difficult to find. Replacing the short spar metal blade with Carson’s composite short spar blade provides enhanced capabilities which include the ability to fly 10-15 knots faster using the same power and picking up additional weight under adverse conditions. This blade also eliminates the requirement for BIM (Blade Inspection Method) inspections and has a higher ballistic tolerance. Additionally, the corrosion problem encountered when operating over water with the older metal blade is completely eliminated. Replacing the old metal short spar blade with the new composite blade does not require any additional steps nor tools. All one has to do is replace and track.

The Short Spar Blade is unique to the folding rotor head on the military version of the Sikorsky S61 because it allows for a convenient, compressed placement aboard a ship. This is particularly important for missions that include search and rescue. The Carson Short Spar Blade is identical to its Composite Main Rotor Blade except that it is 4 inches shorter at the root end to compensate for the folding main rotor blade. At the present time, the life of the Carson Short Spar Blade is 10,000 hours.

In 2008, the Carson Short Spar Main Rotor Blade was selected by the Royal Navy following an extensive testing and evaluation program conducted by the MOD’s Joint Test and Evaluation Group Aircraft Test & Evaluation Center and QinetiQ. The work supported an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) to enable the Sea Kings to be deployed. Some of the feedback Carson received from the pilots operating the aircraft include:

  • Conversion to the new type is simple.

  • Handling is similar.

  • Improved performance at altitude.

  • Fuel economy is improved.

  • Dust landings are easier.

Because of the positive feedback, the Royal Navy bought 52 sets of Carson’s Short Spar Blades for its fleet of Sea Kings.

Carson has been working on FAA approval for a number of years and completed the last flight test during the latter part of 2017.

For anyone interested in obtaining more information about the FAA-approved Carson Composite Main Short Spar Blades, please contact Rod Manogue at [email protected]. Short Spar Blades are available for immediate delivery.

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